2010 St.-Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett

Year: 2010
Appellation: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Country: Germany
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 88
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 9.5%
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"Aromas of tropical fruit lead to flavors of peach, ripe apple, cream and spice that are backed up by fresh acidity. Lush midpalate, with some minerally notes on the finish. Drink now through 2038. 2,000 cases made." (WS)

"In a bit of a role-reversal of vintage-typical behavior, the St. Urbans-Hof 2010 Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett – at 11 grams – is significantly higher-acid than its Goldtropfchen counterpart (not to mention flat-out extreme). Fresh apple, cherry, and lime evince a tart and chewy fruit skin edge in his buoyant, refreshing Kabinett, though one almost inevitable result is a certain sweet-tart bifurcation. But this finishes with invigorating persistence, and mouthwatering salinity. It’s sure to retain stamina for 15 or more years, and in the process probably gain complexity and – while still in high-energy orbit – harmony.

Nik Weis found himself favoring residual sugar in 2010 to an even greater extent than in some other recent vintages (there was for example no Laurentiuslay feinherb let alone near-trocken; and the Saarfeilser yielded an exceptional and powerful residually sweet Spatlese as well as B.A. and T.B.A.) less on account of what he deemed needed to balance the vintage’s high acidity than on account of the high must weights recorded from this punishingly small crop. Weis rejects out of hand any comparison of 2010 with 1996. “In 1996,” he testifies, “when you dropped clusters into the basket they bounced, so thick and elastic were the skins. There was nothing like the phenolic ripeness we managed to achieve in 2010. I had no experience though, I confess, with de-acidification,” Weis continues, “as the last time any took place here was in 1987.” He was very sparing with adjustments, preferring to rely on extending skin and lees contact and delayed bottling to ameliorate the effect of high acids. (As we tasted, the jackhammers were pounding-away on an addition to the St. Urbans-Hof cellar that will permit larger volumes to be held longer, whether in the presses or fermentation tanks.)" (WA)