St. Urbans-Hof Estate Riesling QbA 2012
This German Riesling from the Mosel is very lightly off-dry but its so bright and intense that the sweetness barely registers. An elegant, crisp and fruity Riesling with a hint of natural residual sweetness. This wine has the typical light character of the Riesling grape and the style of a classic Mosel Riesling.
In 1947, Nik Weis’ grandfather Nicolaus named his winery St. Urbans-Hof (St. Urbans Estate), after the patron saint of the winemakers, Saint Urban. Still today, the winery carries this name alongside with the owner’s name Nik Weis. Nik is the third generation of the family to make wine at the estate and the first to modernize its labelling in order to express that tradition. He changed the name of the winery from St. Urbans-Hof to Nik Weis - St. Urbans-Hof since family work and tradition are of such importance.
In our endeavors we give highest priority to maintaining the ecological balance of our vineyards, in the belief that as winemakers we must recognize and respect the fragile unity of viticulture and nature.
St. Urbans-Hof employs traditional methods of wine growing and winemaking which have been used in the Mosel and Saar Valleys for centuries, some of which date back to the Romans. For example, the vines are grown on the traditional single-post 'Heart-binding' trellis system, whereby the canes are tied in the shape of a heart.
For our family, wine has been at the heart of life for generations. Our deep respect for the traditions of our region remains, as ever, the guarantee for the quality of our wines.
Following the Mosel River as it slithers and weaves dramatically through the Eifel Mountains in Germany’s far west, the Mosel wine region is considered by many as the source of the world’s finest and longest-lived Rieslings.
Mosel’s unique and unsurpassed combination of geography, geology and climate all combine together to make this true. Many of the Mosel’s best vineyard sites are on the steep south or southwest facing slopes, where vines receive up to ten times more sunlight, a very desirable condition in this cold climate region. Given how many twists and turns the Mosel River makes, it is not had to find a vineyard with this exposure. In fact, the Mosel’s breathtakingly steep slopes of rocky, slate-based soils straddle the riverbanks along its entire length. These rocky slate soils, as well as the river, retain and reflect heat back to the vineyards, a phenomenon that aids in the complete ripening of its grapes.
Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically on the desirable sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type and altitude. The best Mosel Rieslings—dry or sweet—express marked acidity, low alcohol, great purity and intensity with aromas and flavors of wet slate, citrus and stone fruit. With age, the wine’s color will become more golden and pleasing aromas of honey, dried apricot and sometimes petrol develop.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.