Nik Weis Urban Riesling an affordable ambassador for the Mosel

Urban Riesling bottle shot HRURBAN RIESLING — a “Nik Weis Selection” produced by the second-largest family-owned winery in the Mosel — is an impressive example of the crisp, floral, minerally, flinty character of the wines from the steep hillsides lining the famous river in Germany. It has a modern label and screw cap, and is in wide distribution in the U.S. at the suggested price of $14.

Though Nik Weis, third-generation vintner at St. Urbans-Hof in Leiwen, is best known for wines from his premium holdings in Leiwener Laurentiuslay, Ockfener Bockstein, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen and more top spots, he decided in 2006 to release a more value-priced wine that modeled the region and was made from contract grapes. He labeled it “Nik Weis Selection” to differentiate if from his estate-grown wines. He makes it with as much care as his estate wines: whole-cluster pressed, fermented off natural yeasts on the skins, very gentle filtration.

Urban Riesling, Nik Weis Selection, Mosel, Germany 2014, $14: This refreshing beauty at 9.5 percent alcohol showcases the signature flavors of the Mosel — that floral, citrusy, minerally, flinty character derived from vineyards on slate-based soils rising above the river. It has delicate sweetness balanced by a spine of acidity. This is not an estate Riesling, but made from grapes off vineyards around the town of Mehring where Nik Weis’ father-in-law is a grower. Remember, $14 is the suggested price — you will no doubt find it for less.

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