2008 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese Nahe

SKU #1063026 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Thyme, mint, lime, and orange inform the nose of Donnhoff's 2008 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese which offers a lither texture and brighter, more saline mineral dimension than one is used to. In fact, it's remarkable the degree to which this resembles the corresponding Brucke in its intricate interweaving of herbal, mineral, citrus, and red berry strands, while wreathed in an aura of smoke and crushed stone. don't be deceived, says Donnhoff, there's a lot more stuffing behind this Hermannshohle. And by the way, the analyses of these Spatlesen, including Kupfergrube, are almost identical; the handling in the cellar was the same; and there aren't even 500 meters to separate the three of them. Plan to follow this for 20 or more years and to expect - as its author suggests - further complexity and richness along the way. (DS)  (2/2010)

93 points Wine Spectator

 There's nice ripeness to this, attaining peach and apricot flavors, with a touch of orange. This is slim and heightened by the bright acidity, ending with a cleansing note of citrus.  (3/2010)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Golden yellow. Tantalizing aromas of papaya, cherry, sweet herbs and tobacco. Discreet but intense cherry fruit rises from the mid-palate, animated by brilliant acidity. Lusciously spicy wine with long, deep finish. I may be underrating this in the early going. 92(+?) points  (2/2010)

Jancis Robinson

 Rich and firm and dense with a great spine of acidity. Lime and minerals. Classic stuff. 17.5/20 points.  (8/2009)

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Price: $64.99
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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.