2007 Dönnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese Nahe

SKU #1059190 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 As usual with Donnhoff's renditions of this site, his 2007 Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese displays a profusion of flowers (buddleia, rose lily, and cherry blossom) on the nose and cherry fruit and citrus on the palate that combine for an irresistible charm offensive. This silken, pure Riesling is suffused not only with wafting floral perfume, but with saline, savory, scallop-like mineral notes that add to its utterly lip-smacking, saliva-inducing brand of refreshment. Here's a great example of residually sweet Riesling possessing not one gram more than needed for maximum support of its aromas and fruit flavors, so that sweetness per se is the last thing you have on your mind as you reach for the next sip. While there is no extended track record yet at this address - and perhaps never has been for a Kirschheck with this sort of balance and sheer quality - experience with analogous Donnhoff wines suggest one could hold it for at least two decades. But don't miss it now, either! (DS)  (10/2009)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Subdued aromas of wild rose, passion fruit and wild herbs. Crisp, polished peach pit flavor is given a refreshing kick by salty minerality. Delicate and quite long, this is a very refined Spatlese. (JP)  (1/2009)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Concentrated and built around a core of acidity, this vanilla-tinged Riesling is refined and integrated, yet seems to be withholding all its charms. The potential is in the long finish of grapefruit, peach and mineral. Best from 2011 through 2028. (BS)  (4/2009)

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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 Pr├Ądikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Sp├Ątlese, 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.