St. Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spätlese 2014, Mosel, Germany

The Mosel River flows through the heart of Europe in a remote location the locals like to refer to as “behind the moon.” Temperatures here aren’t SO cold but conditions at this far northern 50° latitude make the Mosel the northernmost outpost of top-quality grapevines in the world. Vines receive an average 48.2°-55.4°F temperature and 1,100-1,600 daylight hours during the vegetative period of April-October. The cool continental climate, with some Atlantic influence, its slate soil and the steeply-hilled topography are all nature’s gifts both for winemakers and wine aficionados. The Ockfener Bockstein, a very steep 50 ° southwest-facing hillside slope, is located in a side valley away from the Saar River where the sun’s rays shine unimpeded by any other hills. Its soils are hard, gravelly gray slate lending a smoky aroma and great minerality to its wines. The extensive forest topping the hill retains water which drains slowly into the vineyard subsoils beneath. “Cool nose with elegant herbaceous notes, gooseberries, citrus and peach fruit, floral and mineral traces. Light-bodied and quite firm on the palate, clean, fairly polished fruit, lively acidity, integrated sweetness.”