2009 St.-Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spatlese

Year: 2009
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 94
White Wine
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"Hinting at graphite, this white delivers peach, Golden Delicious apple, warm baking spice and citrus aromas and flavors. It's all matched to a firm, tightly wound structure, with the acidity topping the balance now. There's fine, stony length. Needs time. Best from 2014 through 2035. 600 cases made." (WS)

"Lemon, lime, orange, Rainier cherry and brown spices in the nose of the St. Urbans-Hof 2009 Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spatlese (rendered exclusively from the Zickelgarten portion of the site) come to the palate with levity, silken smoothness and infectious, luscious juiciness, to which subtle fruit skin, citrus zest, and ginger lend invigoration. Near-perfect harmony yet consummate enervation and kaleidoscopic finishing interaction make this phenomenal value a sure bet for two decades or more of delightful complex company.

Nik Weis thinks 2009 – in which his team harvested well into November – really demonstrated the cumulative effects from a decade of intensively “in gardener’s fashion” hoeing the soil, composting, pruning short, returning wire-trained vines to single posts, and in general farming so as to put the brakes on sugar accumulation in the grapes and permit ripening to greater incipient complexity as well as delicacy. This entails inter alia backing-off from too aggressive a green harvest when it comes to the very best sites, and leaving a few more bunches to hang for longer. “Anytime you’re in a position to harvest a Trockenbeerenauslese from the Ockfener Bockstein, and you feel compelled to place the Piesporter Goldtropfchen before the corresponding Ockfener Bockstein in the tasting sequence, that’s a great vintage,” says Weis, echoing a traditional sentiment that Saar Rieslings are a touchstone of top quality throughout the greater Mosel region. Indeed, this collection offers the very apotheosis of Bockstein, and if you don’t think this site (or at least, the finest parts of it) is truly great – I didn’t myself until I encountered old wines at this address 15 years ago – get ready to have a conversion experience! Incidentally, Weis has bought up the rest of the original Zickelgarten within Bockstein, so that were he to win permission to re-activate that site name (retained in the 1971 Wine Law but last utilized by Kesselstatt in 1983 and later abrogated after no subsequent owners chose to declare it) he would have a really top-class monopole. For the second year running at this address – and despite the fact that fermentations were relatively fleet – there is only a single legally trocken bottling, namely the inaugural Grosses Gewachs – not coincidentally a loner as well for having been fermented with cultured yeasts in order to insure that its finished residual sugar qualified for the club in question." (WA)