On a recent weekend, my family celebrated three birthdays—my mother's, my husband's and my brother's (belatedly)—with a meal at my brother's house. He and his wife had recently returned from a vacation in Thailand, and they were serving dishes inspired by their trip, including a Thai beef salad and spicy chicken with cashews. As usual, he asked me to bring some wines, and I turned up with a mix of bottles.
It was the first sunny, warm-ish weekend of spring in New Jersey, and we were all sitting out in the yard (albeit in our coats) enjoying the sun and fresh air. Among the wines we opened was the St.-Urbans-Hof. The aromas of apricot, Golden Delicious apple and slate after a rain wafted out of the glass. With its mouthwatering fruit, delicate sweetness, and clean, lingering finish, it was like spring in liquid form—perfect for the moment. We polished it off pretty quickly. 90 points, non-blind.
St.-Urbans-Hof is among my favorite German Riesling producers for its consistent quality and value. At a suggested price of $15 and with 10,000 cases, the 2007 QbA made our Top 100 Wines of 2008 list, so when I saw it at a local store a while back for about $12, I snapped up a few bottles and have enjoyed it a couple times this year.
Not as ripe as Prädikat-level wines, the QbA is particularly versatile with food. Its touch of sweetness nicely offset the spice and heat of the Thai food and, with its balance of fruit and acidity, it has held up well with previous meals ranging from maple-glazed salmon to grilled lemon chicken, green beans with pine nuts and saffron basmati rice with pistachios and orange zest. They weren't always "wow" matches, but the wine never lost any flavor or freshness against the food, nor did it overwhelm any of the dishes. It always kept me reaching for more.
WineSpectator.com members: Read Bruce Sanderson's official blind-tasting note for St.-Urbans-Hof Riesling QbA Mosel 2007 (90 points, $15).