Dönnhoff Riesling 2008
The Wine Doctor explains that the Dönnhoff family have been making wine in Nahe since 1750, and the latest member of the dynasty to run the estate is Helmut. Over the centuries the family estate grew to about 12 hectares, although in recent years Helmut has accelerated this trend so that the total area of vines now under his direction is more like 20 hectares. An inspection of his vineyard portfolio is rather like a rundown of the top sites around his location in Oberhausen. The vineyards here include a variety of soils, in the case of Dönnhoff his include decomposed grey slate and volcanic rocks such as porhpyry, and are planted predominantly with Riesling which accounts for 80% of the vines, the remainder being Burgundian varieties including Weissburgunder and Grauburgunder. Dönnhoff's holdings include part of the 8.5 hectare Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle, a site rich in the aforementioned slate and volcanic rock, melaphyr as well as porphyry, an igneous melange which is perhaps responsible for some of his most exalted wines which seem to have the power to send some writers into raptures. Perhaps equally famous is the Oberhäuser Brücke vineyard, again dominated by grey slate; this site is owned in its entirety by Dönnhoff, and is notable as the source of firm, mineral, masculine wines, and of course his fabulous, cult-status eiswein. This wine hails from a tiny 1 hectare vineyard. As with so many of Donnhoff's amazing wines, this is extremely fresh and limey. The intense acidity balances the sweetness quite delightfully. The wine is also elegant with lovely minerality and a long finish.
Editorial Reviews for Dönnhoff Riesling
Tight on the nose with some oily, raw nut notes over a base of quartz and raw quince. Bright acidity cuts down the middle of the palate but the fruit seems to struggle to stay with it, falling away to the sides in the mouth. This is lean and focused but lacks a bit of snap. A lot of green apple, citrus and unripe apricot flavors are attractive, but this also lacks a bit of length. It finishes on the dry side for a Spatlese. A bit disjointed. 88pts
Floral nose, very juicy and intense flavors of stonefruits and lots of acid.
External Reviews for Dönnhoff Riesling
"Thyme, mint, lime, and orange inform the nose of Donnhoff's 2008 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese which offers a lither texture and brighter, more saline mineral dimension than one is used to. In fact, it's remarkable the degree to which this resembles the corresponding Brucke in its intricate interweaving of herbal, mineral, citrus, and red berry strands, while wreathed in an aura of smoke and crushed stone. don't be deceived, says Donnhoff, there's a lot more stuffing behind this Hermannshohle. And by the way, the analyses of these Spatlesen, including Kupfergrube, are almost identical; the handling in the cellar was the same; and there aren't even 500 meters to separate the three of them. Plan to follow this for 20 or more years and to expect - as its author suggests - further complexity and richness along the way." Wine Advocate , #187 Feb 2010, David Schildknecht