St. Urbans-Hof, Ockfener Bockstein, Riesling Auslese, 2007
I concluded my recent exploration of the ageing potential of cheap German plonk with a reference to what is a, well, reference point for white wine that often has to age before being at its most enjoyable: a Mosel Auslese. Ideally, these Rieslings have two key ingredients for ageing well - sugar and acidity. A good Auslese can easily improve for a decade and will often last much longer than that.
This means that the 2007 Auslese from Mosel producer St. Urbans-Hof could still be considered a youngling. On the other hand the wine has been living in my wardrobe since I bought it at the winery in 2008 (for €24), hardly the best place to age slowly, and who says you cannot enjoy an Auslese when it is still young?
So I opened my second-to-last Ockfener Bockstein Auslese the other day when a few wine-loving friends graced the Wine Rambler London HQ with their presence. As is often the case, drinking and talking wine with curious people leads to some interesting descriptions. One of my friends commented that the St. Urbans-Hof Riesling smelled "like smoking apple shisha", whereas another was reminded of plimsoll pumps. There was definitely a touch of rubber and some paraffin, but also citrus fruit, herbs some peach and smoky mineral. A classic and exciting Riesling nose, perhaps a little reserved at first.
On the tongue a fresh and elegant wine, the Auslese had well integrated acidity. In fact it was so well integrated that while it was driving the whole dynamic of the Riesling it was in no way over-powering or even vaguely dominant. Sweet, but not cloying the wine was well balanced and had lovely fruit aromas (including apple, pear and peach) with honey and a bit of spice and slate. Somehow I think there is still more potential in this Riesling, so it was good I reserved another botte.