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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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!