2011 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese

SKU #1117638 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 High-toned, distillate-like herbal extracts along with ripe fresh strawberry, apple and quince inform the scintillating nose and electrical charged palate of Donnhoff’s 2011 Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese. “We were able to just keep waiting on this site,” he explains, “so that even this lightest wine from the Brucke was picked only in the last days of (regular) harvest.” Hints of pits and seed, along with black tea, nut oils, zesty citrus, and myriad mineral impingements add to a sense of quickening that goes well beyond mere invigoration in this gem’s strikingly persistent, shimmeringly vibrant finish. I was left with salivary glands palpitating and arms covered in gooseflesh. It will probably be hard to resist such a wine at any point over the next quarter century, but those with the requisite remaining life expectancy should make an effort to defer for the duration the pleasure of at least the last bottle or two.  (2/2013)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Fruity and expressive, with a lush spiciness to the ripe apple and baked peach flavors. Intense glazed apricot and jellied citrus notes linger on the juicy, sumptuous finish. Drink now through 2035.  (4/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Struggling for descriptive terms I am finally happy with the word delicious. A composition of grace and purity. I should write an inspiring poem here about fruit orchard fragrance, animating acidity and sheer harmony, but the poet laureate I am not. 18/20 points.  (6/2012)

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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted. Click for a list of bestselling items from Germany.