Start your Memorial Day party with one of the best bargains in our market: the 2010 St.Urbans-Hof Riesling Qba.
In 1947, Nicolaus Weis founded his winery and named it after St.Urban, the patron saint of winemakers. The winery is located in Germany’s Mosel region, recognized as one of the world’s greatest areas for this grape, so the estate is dedicated to this grape.
His son Hermann took over in the 1960s, and possessed with a profound knowledge of riesling, he purchased exquisite vineyard sites in the Mosel and pioneered riesling plantings in Canada. In 1997, Hermann’s son Nicolaus took over the winery.
The Mosel has Germany’s steepest vineyards and is among its most northern. If quality wine is to be made, the grapes must come from vineyards that are facing south in order to capture all the sun’s rays. In fact, if you take one of the many tour boats on the Mosel river, you will not see any vineyards where the banks face north.
The other distinguishing characteristic of Mosel riesling is the crushed blueish-gray slate that is part of the soil. The slate reflects and retains the sun’s warmth for the vines and provides a minerality to the wine that is prized by riesling drinkers.
St.Urbans-Hof owns prime vineyards in the Mosel and Saar areas, but the 2010 St.Urbans-Hof Riesling Qba is a non-estate wine. Weis makes the wine from purchased grapes of various Mosel vineyards in the town of Mehring, from which is wife Daniela hails.
Qba is the basic ranking and translates to quality wine, but the quality of the 2010 St. Urban-Hof Riesling Qba is anything but basic. It is only natural to suspect that one reason is that Daniela Weis gave her husband the names of the best vineyards and growers in Mehring. The other is the winemaking.
Instead of using purchased yeast as many winemakers do, Weis used the natural yeasts on the grape’s skins to begin the fermentation. This technique captures all the natural flavors of the grape. The 2010 St. Urban Riesling Qba has delightful jasmine and pear aromas. The slate-induced minerality sits behind delicious apple and peach flavors. A long, flavorful finish is provided by the natural acidity of Mosel riesling, which balances the residual sugar of this off-dry wine.
With its fuller body than most Mosel Qba wines, excellent balance and low 9 percent alcohol, the 2010 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Qba is perfect for warm weather drinking. Whether as an aperitif or served with crab cakes, a chicken and apple salad, or sushi rolls, you’ll find this a refreshing, well-made wine. And the extremely attractive price encourages you to make it your summer white wine.
The 2010 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Qba retails for approximately $11.