Variety: 100% Riesling
Region: Mosel – Germany
Cost: $18 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: The St. Urbans-Hof Estate Riesling “From Old Vines” represents everything you can expect from a fine Riesling from Germany’s renowned Mosel Valley. It has the elegance and freshness that Riesling is known for plus the depth and finesse that only wines from old gnarly vines can have.
My Review: So in case I’ve never mentioned it here before (and I feel like I have, but after more than a decade of doing this, it’s hard to know for certain), but my dad was in the US Army. Why is that relevant here? Because his service led to us living in Germany for five years.
Now, to be fair, I was young when we lived there, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t exposed to wine while living there. While that did lead to a lingering soft spot for Chianti, it also led to a bit of gun shyness around Riesling. Now, as I’ve gotten older and tried different ways of using the grape, I know that there’s a wide range, from bone dry to practically syrup, that you can find Riesling in.
Still, early exposure to the sweeter Rieslings always leaves me a bit nervous when opening up a bottle for the first time.
All of that to say….how did the 2018 St. Urbans-Hof Estate Riesling from Old Vines go?
In the glass the wine was a light yellow color with hints of green when the light caught it just right. On the nose I picked up aromas of honeysuckle, honey, tropical fruit, and green apples. In the mouth the honey flavors carried through and were joined by apricot and peaches.
So the big question with a Riesling from Mosel is going to be “how sweet was it?” and the answer is – not too bad. It was certainly “sweet”, but it wasn’t cloying and it the wine didn’t coat the mouth and make that sweetness linger, which was nice.
My wife and I paired the wine with a Thai-inspired dish of carrot noodles and ground turkey in a spicy peanut sauce. The sweetness of the wine did a great job of cutting the heat, making it a good pairing.
Overall I liked this wine (though to be fair, I did prefer the Dry Riesling that we drank later); it’s definitely “German”, and while not overly sweet, you’ll probably want to pair it with something that has some heat or acid to balance the sweetness it does have.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.