2014 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule Nahe (last of vintage) (Previously $87)

SKU #1259549 90 points Vinous

 “Normally, this should have been a year of TBA, BA and Auslese without end,” related Dönnhoff senior, “if only the weather had turned at the beginning of October and brought strictly cool, dry air.” In the event, just this one small bit of Auslese was possible by dint of rigorous selection. “I didn’t want Auslese to completely elude my grasp,” Dönnhoff continued, noting that “this one was picked out from the Spätlese material on a table by my top harvest brigade. We’ve had lovelier Auslesen, but when it’s constantly humid, you get negative infection and can’t expect more than this.” A faintly fungal note accents apple jelly, glazed pineapple, candied grapefruit rind and caramel on the nose, leading to a colorfully complex but rather opaque as well as decidedly confectionery palate impression. The finish is forcefully sustained but lacks the primary juiciness and salinity that might have leavened the wine’s sheer thickness and overcome slightly rough and unruly manifestations of botrytis. (DS)  (9/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Once again the fragrance is almost restrained, but teases with delicious aromas of melon, citrus fruit and a gentle dusty note. Juicy and with invigorating acidity, it also shows a perfectly measured dose of sweetness, enough to delight without piling up the sugar content. A delicate nuance of stony minerality underlines the long finish. A fine and elegant wine for the discerning Auslese drinker. (18.5/20 points)  (4/2015)

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Price: $64.99
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Varietal:

Riesling

- 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.
Country:

Germany

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Nahe