2007 Dönnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spätlese Nahe

SKU #1043387 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Gardenia, peony, and resinous herbs in the nose of Donnhoff's 2007 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese give way to a palpably extract-rich palate of vibratory intensity, suffused with stony, saline, and tactile suggestions of mineral matter, yet at the same time rich orchard fruits. If the Krotenpfuhl was painted with water colors, the medium here is definitely oil, exhibiting both dynamic and intricate brush work as well as dense layering. This masterpiece - picked simultaneously with the corresponding Grosses Gewachs - was only beginning to show its depth in the spring and needed almost six months in bottle to really shine forth. Take as long as fate permits you to savor this; I can't imagine it disappointing a quarter century or more from now. (DS)  (10/2009)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Bright and expressive, evoking apricot, nectarine and orange, with accents of sweet corn and vanilla custard. If the flavors were colors they would be neon, like a Pucci print. Drink now through 2028. (BS)  (4/2009)

93 points Vinous

 Tantalizing aromas of papaya, sweet herbs and incense. Discreet but intense black cherry fruit rises from the mid-palate, accompanied by brilliant acidity. Animated and finely spiced, with a deep, long finish. I may be underrating this. (JPB) 93+  (1/2009)

K&L Notes

According to importer Terry Theise: "Again the mineral is like a rock-slide, the fruit is exquisite, the acidity is penetrating and the nuances are so many and hyperactive you feel as though a terroir fibrillator were shocking your palate. Almost always the most explicit and kinetic of Helmut’s wines, yet when it outgrows its puppy-energy it becomes as charged with serenity as they all do."

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Price: $69.99
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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.