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St. Urbans-Hof

Riesling, Kabinett,
 2018

$26.59/bottle

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Description

Racy and pure with intense minerality coupled with green apple and pear flavors. It has a steely finish with white stones and dry herb notes

Variety: Riesling, Kabinett
Region:  Mosel, Germany
Winemaker: Nik Weis
Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 9.0%

Winemaker's Notes

Elderflower, lilac, violet, and rose are the floral notes attributed to these wines along with smoky minerality. These Ockfener Bocksteins are the most refined and playful of St. Urbans-Hof’s wine

John's Notes

I’m a big German Riesling fan especially those from the Mosel and Rheingau, so you can imagine my reaction when my latest blind tasting exam had not 1, but 3 German Rieslings as part of the 12 glasses for analysis.  And while the race against the clock and the pressure of the exam has me kicking myself for points I wish I’d made about each of the wines, I was pretty excited to dig into them and speak to their various characteristics.  Only time will tell whether I sufficiently assessed those and the other 9 wines on the exam, but I can unequivocally say it’s nice to enjoy a Riesling like this one while relaxing with friends as opposed to in an exam setting. Enjoy

Nerdy Details

Winemaker: Nik Weis, St. Urbans-Hof

  • The Riesling winery Nik Weis – St. Urbans-Hof in Leiwen on the Moselle is run by Nik Weis and his family in the third generation
  • The winery has been a member of the renowned Association of German Prädikatsweingüter (VDP) since 2000

Variety: 100% Riesling

Region: Mosel, Germany

Climate/Vintage:

  • Climate/Vintage: Mosel has a cool continental climate with an average growing season temperature of 62°F or below, and large temperature swings from one season to the next. Autumn generally brings less rain which creates a long, cool ripening period that allows the grapes to reach sugar ripeness while retaining their bright acidity

Viticulture:

  • The Ockfener Bockstein, a very steep 50° southwest-facing hillside slope, is located in a side valley away from the Saar River where the sun’s rays shine unimpeded by any other hills
  • Its soils are hard, gravelly gray slate lending a smoky aroma and great minerality to its wines
  • The extensive forest topping the hill retains water which drains slowly into the vineyard subsoils beneath. Between the forest and vineyard, wild animals such as deer may be seen, alluding to the vineyard’s German bock referring to ‘buck’ and the German stein for ‘rock’
  • The cool winds coming down from the Hunsrück hills influence the grapes’ ripening by forcing them to produce aromatic potential rather than high sugar levels

Winemaking:

  • The Riesling is gently crushed then left to rest in the press for up three hours to allow the components locked in the berries’ skins to be extracted by contact with the juice
  • The grapes are then pneumatically pressed, and drained by gravity into stainless steel tanks located immediately below the presses
  • The juice rests overnight to allow the sediment to settle. Later the clear juice will be racked into other tanks
  • The wines ferment spontaneously with the yeasts which are found naturally in the cellar, or which come into the cellar from the pressed skins and ferment the juice naturally. By allowing this to happen a complex array of flavors may develop. They truly stand apart from industrial Rieslings which show only one or two dimensions, ones which quickly tire the palate

Alcohol:  9.0%

Pairs Well With: Pan seared halibut, chicken and pasta dishes especially those with hot and spicy seasoning

 

Reviews

  • James Suckling (92): There’s an attractive, reductive and flinty edge here that holds fresh citrus fruit in good stead. The palate has a succulent, juicy and attractively fleshy feel with a wealth of ripe peaches and nectarines. Smooth and delicious
  • Wine Spectator (91): An elegant version, with elderflower, white raspberry and candied orange notes, underscored by prominent minerality and vibrant acidity. Shows lots of energy. Very pretty now, but will be better in a few years. Best from 2021 through 2029
  • Wine Enthusiast (91): Aromas of lemon candy and tangerine peel are accented by earth and dried, savory herbs in this bristling semisweet Kabinett. It’s bright and citrusy on the palate, framed by zesty lime acidity and a grip of astringency on the finish. Lovely now but it should drink well through 2030
  • Wine & Spirits (91): Harvested from the steep gray-slate soils of the Ockfener Bockstein, this reflects that vineyard’s sunny, protected position in the density and ripeness of its flavors. It’s overtly mineral, with notes of petrol winding through the lime-curd fruit, and a savory umami character that brings to mind parmesan-cheese rinds. At the same time, the acidity is lively, the wine feeling youthful, ready to take on a rich, cheesy mushroom risotto
  • Vinous (91): A penetratingly pungent combination of mint, cilantro, cress and orange blossom is accompanied by prickly hints of reduction, which, however, conveys some invigoration on both nose and palate. And although this Kabinett – in contrast with the corresponding Goldtröpfchen – harbors a mere 9% alcohol, there is considerable acidity to balance out its high residual sugar, if with a somewhat sweet-sour upshot. The feel is polished, and a sense of buoyancy and a mouthwatering lick of salinity accompany floral perfume, herbal pungency and bright lime and apple juiciness on the finish. When this settles down in bottle, it may prove yet more impressive. Drinking window: 2020 – 2038
  • Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (90): The 2018 Bockstein Kabinett is clear and intense on the classic nose that is complex and slightly matured yet still reductive. Piquant and fresh on the palate, this is a classy and vital yet still reductive Kabinett with structure and concise acidity but also juicy fruit

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