2002 Dönnhoff Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese Nahe

SKU #1005532 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2002 Riesling Spatlese Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg explodes from the glass with sweet onion and black raspberry aromas. This decadent wine offers a goose-down duvet texture as well as wide, lush waves of juicy cassis fruit, sea salt, and flint. Powerful, edge-free, pure, and magnificently long, this medium-bodied beauty is a candidate for drinking between 2008 and 2025. All Hail the King of Spatlese! Donnhoff’s line-up of Spatlesen is second to none. (PR)  (2/2004)

94 points John Gilman

 I loved when Helmut Dönnhoff had holdings in both the Kupfergrube and the Felsenberg in the village of Schlossböckelheim, but when the possibility came up to swap his parcel in the Kupfergrube for more Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle, I fully understood his decision to make the exchange. Happily, the fine piece of the Felsenberg remains. These days, much of the filet section of the Dönnhoff holdings in the Felsenberg (located higher up in the vineyard around the old watchtower that overlooks the hillside) are reserved for the Grosses Gewächs bottling from this vineyard, but back in 2002, these older vines often found their highest expression as Spätlese. The 2002 Felsenberg Spätlese has now reached a glorious point in its evolution and is drinking with great style and generosity, wafting from the glass in a blend of apple, peach, beautiful minerality, a touch of honeycomb, fine spice tones, still a whisper of wild yeasts and a gently floral topnote. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, pure and very complex, with a lovely core, bright, zesty acids, fine focus and grip and a very long, wide open and perfectly balanced finish. A beautiful wine at its apogee, but still with decades ahead of it.  (7/2016)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Terrific spätlese. Rich and bursting with apricot, nectarine and mineral aromas and flavors, all supported by a vibrant structure. Really harmonious and elegant. (BS)  (2/2004)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Tropical fruits and nut oils in the nose had me thinking Piesporter Goldtropfchen for an instant. Pear, red fruits, tropical fruits, citrus fruits - and that's just the f-words. Mineral here is spelled salts, smoke, stone and spice. The overall length is sensational. We opened up a bottle of 2001 alongside and, in Donnhoff's words, "watched these two strong boys have at it. " Perhaps there could be no ultimate decision, but I found the refinement and complexity of the 2002 compelling when compared with the more obvious density and breadth of its predecessor. (DS)  (1/2004)

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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.