Riesling has always been one of my favourite grape varieties, especially if it comes from the EU countries. It has a pronounced fruity varietal character and can be made in various styles: dry, semi-sweet and sweet. Talking of Riesling, Germany comes to mind as one of the most premium regions to grow it. Mosel- Saar-Ruwer makes Germany’s lightest –bodied Rieslings. The Kabinett and Spatlese wines are almost always made with medium sweetness balanced by high acidity.
Mr. Vishal Kadakia of Wine Park, a Mumbai-based wine company, hosted a Riesling tasting with the German winemaker Nik Weis. Nik is a third generation winemaker and owner of St. Urbans-Hof. A small but selective gathering were audience to Nik, who started by sharing his passion for Indian food. He also mentioned that his wines are low on alcohol. This, he thinks, will be good with Indian cuisine especially in summers.
We tasted four wines out of which three were single vineyard products. Here are our tasting notes:-
2007 St. Urban-Hof Riesling ObA
A Mosel style refreshing white wine grown on slate soil.
Pale yellow/ lemon colour with medium intensity. Bouquets with notes of oil, straw, sulphur, minerals, citrus, coconut cream, avocado. On the palate, it was off-dry with a young structure, medium acidity and body and low alcohol. It had a citrus dominated palate with a lemon bite, mango and passion fruit. Didn’t linger or long on the palate. Nice to start with but not an aperitif. Value for money wine not much for aging.
2007 Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett
Sight of this young wine was clear with lemon colour. Clean on the nose, fruit forward. Bouquet of cashew, white smoke, wood shavings, oak, hint of orange blossom, white rose and African jelly. On the palate it was off-dry and a bit sticky as per a table wine level. Citrus notes with hint of orange blossom, asparagus, minerals, commercial rubber and fresh raw grass. Low acidity and alcohol. Medium aftertaste. Great to go with caramelised white meat dishes, au jus dishes. Medium quality wine and good value for money. Drink now. Pick of the Evening.
2006 Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spatlese, “1.Large” off-dry
Clear wine with dark lemon colour drifting towards golden. With the first swirl, it smells like you are standing in a bakery. Florentine, thick cream, blue cheese, coconut, tofu, chickpeas and floral notes found. Palate was medium-dry, syrupy with a surprising bitter-sweet mouthfeel. Medium acidity balanced with medium alcohol levels. On tasting, first thing to notice is the citrus tinge hit. Notes of avocado, zucchini, rubber, muddled cucumber, chickpeas, apple chutney and blanched beans on the palate. Short aftertaste but residual sugar lingers. Mid-priced wine, can age 1 more year. Recommended with fish dishes and fennel soufflé.
2006 Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Auslese
Straw colour with gren tinge. Great colour. Not clear. Small golden sparkles floating around. Marrygold, grass, orange blossom, honey dew melon, jam, orange marmalade and almond croissant notes. On tasting, it hits as it had some fizz in it, though there was none. Aged Riesling nuances. Bit syrupy thus feels heavy on the palate and sticky. Orange, grapefruit, rich royal fruits, French grapes, dominant notes of figs and prunes, raisins and honey. Medium acidity and alcohol. Long aftertaste. Mid-price wine with some aging potential. Can be enjoyed with some Christmas cake or rich lemon tart.