“Wine is the only art work you can drink.” ……  Luis Fernando Olaverri

My new favorite “slow food” is a grain (which I shouldn’t eat and haven’t for several years). But it’s so tasty, I can’t resist treating myself to a small portion occasionally: Organic brown basmati and wild rice cooked in chicken broth with diced dried apricot and cranberry added and, later, slivered almonds. Crunchy, sweet, savory – it’s got everything going for it. Paired it with a mix of shrimp, shallot, sweet onion, garlic and red bell pepper grilled stove top in walnut oil and served over grilled fresh pineapple then served it all with snap peas.

The wine?  A 2014 (estate bottled from old vines) Weingut Nik Weiss - St. Urbans-Hof Riesling from the Mosel Region in Germany. For me, Riesling from the Mosel is what best expresses the grape and German Rieslings offer tremendous value. The ARP is just $17, but look for current vintages. That year is no longer on the shelves. Production quality, however, is consistent from St Urbans-Hof. Consider that Nik Weiss (3rd generation winemaker) took over the winery in 1997 and by 2000, the estate became a member of the prestigious VDP (Association of German Praedikcat Estates). Then consider that the age of vines he uses in his estate wines are at least 60 years of age.

Deep lemon in the glass, the wine’s nose offers creamed lemon and butterscotch contrasted against some chalkiness (a nice and unusual trick) and orange blossom. Pumped and saved for the next day, the nose offered the added note of petrol and elderflower. Riesling can develop notes of petrol when aged, but with this wine being only four years from vintage, it was a genuine treat. Lemon on the palate – not sharp, more like lemon curd. Semi dry, the wine worked beautifully against the sweetened dried cranberry in the rice. Lime blossoms add delicacy. Acidity makes it all crisp toward the finish that adds a hint of pineapple. What a balancing act!

The trend in Riesling is for dry wines (Troken) and I enjoy them.  But trends don’t always suit the circumstance.  While not dry, this St. Urbans-Hof is not sweet either.  It’s not even semi-sweet.  Cleansing the palate with a crisp finish, and best described as off-dry, it truly is an art work that can be enjoyed in the glass. Pair with any moderately spiced dish.

…………………….. Jim

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ALC:                             9.5%
Imported By:               Hb Wine Merchants (NY NY)
Wine Spectator           91 Points
Wine Enthusiast          89 Points                                    

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