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2006 Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Spatlese

SKU #1035201

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Donnhoff’s 2006 Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese smells beautifully of iris, cherry, lime, and honey. Juicy melon and cherry fruit are underlain by subtle salinity on a satin-textured palate, and this finishes with terrific refreshment, refinement, and lift – wafting, lilting as though its finish were yet another long inhalation. It’s true, I’m crazy for what Donnhoff does with this site, but the reason the wine’s quality is so often underestimated by other critical observers of the wine scene is because it is inherently delicate and doesn’t demand that you pay attention. Those who fail to attend will leave more for the rest of us. Time will tell how these mature, but my guess is this will be lovely for two decades." (10/08) According to importer Terry Theise: "Aroma!! Cherry blossom and peppermint. Oh man, this is another level of seriousness from this vineyard ... it could be Christoffel’s 1-star Würzgarten Auslese, for all its mirabelle and stayman-apple; amazingly saturated, as if a fragrant forest wind were blowing over your basket of apples; length like a freight train with 200 cars as you sit waiting at the crossing. Get out, eat one of those apples, go buy some flowers for your sweetie."

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Price: $39.99
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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.