Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

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Aged Rieslings

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Donnhoff Riesling Spatlese Schlossbockelheimer Kupfergrube (1999)
Comments: Tight and very floral on the nose with a hint of petrol, some talcum powder top notes and low dried orchard fruit tones. With air, this becomes intensely floral with notes of violet and iris. A touch soft in the mouth, this seems a bit sweeter and plumper than it may actually be. On the palate there’s a sweet, almost berry fruit quality along with sweet peach fruit on the palate. Blueberry and strawberry tones pop on the modestly sweet finish that ends with a hint of quartz on the finale. 88pts
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2 Dönnhoff H. Riesling Kabinett Nahe Oberhäuser Leistenberg (1999)
Comments: Petrol and mineral on the nose with top notes of flint and dried strawberry. This is still quite tense with plenty of acidity balancing the modest sweetness. There’s a lightness here and a transparency to the fresh peach and white fruit-leaning mid-palate that finishes with lovely minerality and length. This is small-scaled but it is in perfect balance, with mineral and acid parrying the thrusts of sweet fruit. The sugar does linger a bit on the white peach finish. 87pts
Average price: $130.00 from 1 store
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3 Dönnhoff H. Riesling Spätlese Nahe Norheimer Kirschheck (2000)
Comments: Quite evolved with a full-on petrol nose, some hints of dried flower petals and a bit of chamomile tea. A touch thick on entry, this delivers pretty intense flavors of dried fruit, treacle and lime preserves, all wrapped up in fairly well integrated but noticeable acidity. The finish is a bit short though it does show off the lime and dried fruit character fairly well. A touch boring if balanced. The acidity here really stays with you. This is not great wine but it is giving its all today, drink these up sooner rather than later. 89pts
Average price: $40.99 from 4 stores
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4 Hermann Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese (2001)
Comments: Tight on the nose and not revealing much, though with air some slate and lime pith appear. Still showing a hint of CO2, this tingles the tongue a bit while revealing only some slate notes that are smeared with lime preserves. Very tight and underwhelming, though this does exhibit excellent texture and balance. Quite light on the palate with fine balance of sugar and acid. A little bright lime fruit pops on the finish along with zesty acidity. This needs a couple of hours of air to really open. When it does, it reveals a clear, vibrant core of lemony citrus fruit dusted with mineral tones. The mineral really drives the long, finely focused finish. An elegant wine that wins you over with its lovely texture and balance. 91pts
Previously available for $47.00
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5 Niederhauser Hermannsholle Spatlese Donnhoff (2001)
Comments: This smells fantastic. All crushed rock, spiced, with floral and tobacco top notes and a core of smoky grilled pineapple and apricot. Reminds me of North African cuisine. On the palate this is big and rich, still with plenty of sugar that is well balanced by the acidity. At first, there is far less interesting stuff going on in the mouth than on the nose and this feels a bit syrupy. There’s a lot of fruit still here, some pink grapefruit, apricot and more grilled pineapple notes, but they lack a little brightness until the acidity returns on the moderately long finish. With air, the mineral notes start to add detail in the mouth. If there is a gripe here, it’s that the intensity of the palate makes the finish seem feeble, but this still has all its pieces in place. 93pts
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6 Riesling Spatlese Niederhauser Hermannsholle Donnhoff (2003)
Comments: This is still notably mineral on the nose, dust and quartz with a low note of lightly dried fruit. Thick and rich in the mouth but at the same time bright with decisive acidity and a deep mid-palate vein of minerality. This tastes of steel and quartz and somehow makes my teeth ache. The fruit shows a light drying edge to it with some bitter orange marmalade accented by dried pear and light cherry notes. Big, rich and intense, this may never be elegant but it does offer intense, piercing fruit, mineral flavors and a very long finish. 89pts
Previously available for $65.00
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7 Dönnhoff Nahe Riesling Oberhäuser Brücke Spätlese (2003)
Comments: Very light and slightly alcoholic nose with a nice powdered gravel top note and some earthy apple and apple blossom notes accenting a core of light apricot fruit. This smells surprisingly tight and nervous. Lightly if obviously sweet in the mouth, this has plenty of acidity keeping things juicy and a nice light accent note of green apple with a flicker of minerality. A bit plump, but this is drinking very well today for a simple quaffer. 85pts
Average price: $44.96 from 8 stores
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