Donnhoff 'Estate' Riesling 2017
Not Vintage Specific
Item Number: 29194
Vinous Media 90
"This year, fruit from the Niederhäuser Klamm joins that of Oberhausen (predominantly Leistenberg) in this very subtly sweet cuvée. Niederhäuser Klamm is perhaps one reason why this bottling has seldom if ever been more delightfully expressive. Not unusual with this bottling, there is fresh apple, pear and quince on the nose that reminds me slightly of Chenin Blanc, as do the freesia, honeysuckle and wisteria perfumes that are more prominent in the inner-mouth. The palate is polished and succulently fruity, with nips of lime peel, zesty pink grapefruit, cress and stone serving for delightful invigoration that lasts into a buoyant, lusciously-sustained and consummately refreshing finish. (It’s worth once again mentioning that here is one of those curious cases at a prestigious German address where there is an impeccably-balanced, off-dry Gutsriesling that stands alone stylistically, all of the estate’s other wines being either legally dry or unabashedly sweet.)- David Schildknecht"
James Suckling 92
"This sophisticated white has delicious white peaches and ripe apples, but also a great balance of freshness and juiciness. Super-bright finish. From organically grown grapes. Fair'n Green certification. Drink or hold. Screw cap."
“The wine is the absolutely perfect manifest destiny of German Riesling in its everyday form; complex, spicy, delineated and articulate, insanely delicious, and more versatile than its dry sibling, though this is never ever ‘sweet’ – just sublime.”-Terry Theise
The Dönnhoff family first came to the Nahe region over 200 years ago, and after establishing a modest farm slowly evolved into a full-fledged wine estate. Helmut Dönnhoff has been making the wine since 1971, and now his son Cornelius works alongside in the winery and in their 25 hectares of Erste Lage, or grand cru vineyards. Their holdings represent some of the best in the Nahe and all of Germany. Oberhäuser Leistenberg, the oldest vineyard held by the family, has slate soils and produces fruity wines with elegant acidity. The Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg is a very old site with porphyry soil. Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle, perhaps the most famous of all the Nahe vineyards, is a slate vineyard with many conglomerates of volcanic rocks, mostly porphyry and melaphyr. The Oberhäuser Brücke, the smallest vineyard in the Nahe, is a tiny parcel saddled on the Nahe River that Dönnhoff owns in entirety. The Brücke has grey slate covered by loess-clay and the vines ripen even later here than in the Hermannshöhle due to large diurnal temperature swings along the river. The Norheimer Dellchen is a steep terraced vineyard in a rocky hollow with porphyry and slate soil. Norheimer Kirscheck sits on a steep south slope of slate soil and produces delicately fruity wines with spice and race. The Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl vineyard has perfect drainage due its topsoil of pebbles over loam soil; characteristic are wines with a mineralic elegance. Due to the water table that flows beneath the vineyard’s soil the Krötenpfhul has always been farmed organically, even before it was held by Dönnhoff.
Although the Nahe is a dry region, Dönnhoff does not water their vineyards as to encourage deep rooted vines. The soil is covered with organic material like straw and compost to preserve water and to avoid evaporation and erosion in heavy rains. The vines are all grown on wire frames, low to the ground to benefit from the warmth of the stoney topsoil, and at a density of approx. 6000 vines per hectare. The Riesling vines are old clones sourced from the sites in Niederhausen and Schloßböckelheim.
Grapes are always picked by hand at Dönnhoff over 2-3 passes through each vineyard. To preserve laser-like focus and clarity in the wines, the grapes are pressed as soon as possible – within 3 hours of picking. Wines are fermented in traditional German casks (1200 L stuck and 2400 L doppelstuck) as well as stainless steel with spontaneous fermentations. Donnhoff’s cellar is unique in its capacity to hold all of its production entirely in stainless steel or in cask, allowing for the ideal elevage for any wine at any point during a vintage.
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