The heat and humidity were relentless this weekend and mercilessly attached itself to every fiber of my being. As the sun finally made its way slowly over the horizon on Saturday evening, my thoughts turned to opening a cool and refreshing bottle of wine. Thankfully, I always keep several bottles in the refrigerator and my choice on this sultry evening was easy. I opted for the ‘Nik Weis Selection’ Urban Riesling.
Nik Weis, proprietor and winemaker, is the third generation to run Weingut St. Urbans-Hof, which was founded by his grandfather, Nicolaus Weis, in 1947. The estate is named after St. Urban, the patron saint of vineyard workers and winemakers. Located in the Mosel Valley, in an area called Leiwen, St. Urbans-Hof is considered one of Germany’s premier estates with 40 hectares of vineyards.
Nik created ‘Urban’ a few years ago, using grapes sourced from nearby non-estate blue slate vineyards of excellent quality. The blue slate soil retains heat from the sun, protecting the vines in this cool climate region. And, the stony slate gives the Urban Rieslings a unique and delicate balance of acidity, minerality and juicy sweetness.
The 2016 Urban Riesling made me sit up and pay attention. This is a lively wine! It is the color of pale straw with inviting aromas of apple, lime, pear, pineapple and floral notes. The palate offers succulent flavors of peach, pear, lime and green apple with subtle hints of blue slate that blend beautifully, leaving a very pleasant and mid to long finish. The Urban Riesling is perfectly balanced, refreshing and graceful with just the right amount of sweetness. I served it as an aperitif, but needless to say, this wine is food friendly and can be paired with many types of cuisine.
I need to stock up on more Urban Rieslings! Yummy!
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Since it’s “Wine Wednesday” I thought I would mention a very nice wine that I tasted recently while visiting with a friend.
It was one of those sultry late afternoons that we’ve been experiencing of late and we were both in the mood for a cold refreshment. He happened to have a 2013 Leitz “Dragonstone” Riesling on ice. This wine comes from the Rheingau region of Germany and is 100% Riesling.
The aromas were intoxicating with sweet fruits, lemon and a touch of floral. The palate went from sweet to piquant quickly and was beautifully balanced. A touch of herbs and tart apples lingered on. It was the perfect wine to end the day and begin the evening! Check out the winery’s website. http://www.leitz-wein.de/en/
Here’s a little tidbit: Although Riesling is grown worldwide, the grape originated in Germany where it has been cultivated since the 1400s.
In between my exploring and tasting wines from South America of late, I made an “imagined” pit stop in Germany over the weekend.
While dining at a friend’s home, I was served a 2013 Dr. H Thanisch Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Auslese, Mosel, Germany. The Mosel wine region is the most famous of Germany’s 13 official wine regions and the 3rd largest in the production of wine. This region is best known for its Riesling wines. The first vineyards were planted along the Mosel River by the Romans around the second century.
I’ve had the opportunity to drink Berncasteler Doctor over the years and have never been disappointed. This was no exception. The aromas of apricots, peaches and pineapple made me swoon. The palate was rich with juicy fruit, hints of spice and had a silky texture. The finish was long with more tropical fruit and lemon zest tickling the palate. Alcohol: 9%
To quote from their website: “The legendary Berncasteler Doctor vineyard is located behind the village Bernkastel and is one of the most famous vineyards in Germany. This 100% steep site with a South-South-West orientation consists of medium deep, stony, loamy weathered argillaceous schist. Planted with up to 80 year old vines, full-bodied, spicy wines are grown here.” Visit the website at:
My plane is leaving and I must run!
In between tasting Chardonnays, Rosés and Rieslings, I found myself knitting a summer shawl the other day. The grapes inspired me!
I call this shawl “Island Ribbon”. I love to give names to my one of a kind pieces. The yarn is a combination of cotton and vicose. The wooden beads are handmade from Africa. The shawl is light and airy. It can be worn with just about any summer outfit. Click on the photos for a closer look!
I toasted my finished piece with a glass of 2010 Selbach Riesling Kabinett Piesporter Michelsberg leftover from my party. The wine was also light and airy! And the opened bottle held up very well in the refrigerator for a few days! It still had a floral and apple aroma with apple and pear on the palate. Delicious!
Trying to play catch up. After digging out of yet another snowstorm, I’m putting the brakes on for a short spell so that I can tell you about some wines that I tasted on Saturday.
The first one we tried was a 2013 Orogeny Pinot Noir, from California’s Russian River Valley. It was a ruby color with cherry and pomegranate on the nose with flavors of cherry, spices and a hint of oak. It was well balanced with a spicy finish.
The next wine was a 2012 A to Z Pinot Noir from Oregon. It was a typical Pinot with lots of fruit and flowers on the nose. On the palate the fruit continued with spices and a tangy quality. It had a nice finish.
And now, on to France and a 2011 Louis Max Mercurey Vignes du Domaine. It was a lovely Pinot Noir from Burgundy. This garnet colored Pinot had plums and cherry on the nose. It had more of a spice taste than fruit, but was a nice balance with smooth tannins.
My last taste was a Pinot Noir from Germany. It was a 2012 Diehl Spatburgunder from Pfalz. This was an interesting wine. Very dark red with cherry and black fruit on the nose. Flavors of spice and earth were nicely balanced with the fruit. It was soft with a medium finish.
My favorite was the Pinot from Burgundy.