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Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Spatlese Trocken 2002

Riesling from Nahe, Germany
  • RP96
  • WS91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This Spatlese is extraordinary, hovering in that zone bordering perfection in which wines touch the soul. Profound aromas of liquid slate and pepper emanate from the glass of the 2002 Riesling Spatlese Niederhauser Hermannshohle. As powerful, muscular, and masculine as the Oberhauser Brucke, it has flavors reminiscent of spices awash in pear syrup. A barely perceptible dip in intensity in the mid-palate is the reason this extraordinarily pure, concentrated, and persistent wine earned one less point than some of its peers. All Hail the King of Spatlese! Donnhoff’s line-up of Spatlesen is second to none. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2030.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Not flamboyant, but there's a subtle kaleidoscope of flavors here, from red berry to passion fruit and flowers. Though delicate, it has intensity and concentration on an airy, gossamer frame.
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Donnhoff

Donnhoff

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Donnhoff, Nahe, Germany
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The Donnhoff family first came to the Nahe region over 200 years ago, and after establishing a modest farm slowly evolved into a full-fledged wine estate. Helmut Donnhoff has been making the wine since 1971, and now his son Cornelius works alongside in the winery and in their 25 hectares of Erste Lage, or grand cru vineyards. Their holdings represent some of the best in the Nahe and all of Germany. Oberhauser Leistenberg, the oldest vineyard held by the family, has slate soils and produces fruity wines with elegant acidity. The Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg is a very old site with porphyry soil. Niederhauser Hermannshohle, perhaps the most famous of all the Nahe vineyards, is a slate vineyard with many conglomerates of volcanic rocks, mostly porphyry and melaphyr. The Oberhauser Brucke, the smallest vineyard in the Nahe, is a tiny parcel saddled on the Nahe River that Donnhoff owns in entirety. The Brucke has grey slate covered by loess-clay and the vines ripen even later here than in the Hermannshohle due to large diurnal temperature swings along the river. The Norheimer Dellchen is a steep terraced vineyard in a rocky hollow with porphyry and slate soil. Norheimer Kirscheck sits on a steep south slope of slate soil and produces delicately fruity wines with spice and race. The Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl vineyard has perfect drainage due its topsoil of pebbles over loam soil; characteristic are wines with a mineralic elegance. Due to the water table that flows beneath the vineyard’s soil the Krötenpfhul has always been farmed organically, even before it was held by Dönnhoff.

Although the Nahe is a dry region, Dönnhoff does not water their vineyards as to encourage deep rooted vines. The soil is covered with organic material like straw and compost to preserve water and to avoid evaporation and erosion in heavy rains. The vines are all grown on wire frames, low to the ground to benefit from the warmth of the stoney topsoil, and at a density of approx. 6000 vines per hectare. The Riesling vines are old clones sourced from the sites in Niederhausen and Schlobbockelheim.

Steep and terraced slopes of a sandstone, porphyry, and slate produce some of Germany’s best Rieslings, which are full of pronounced aromas, spice and mineral.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes region of New York.

In the Glass

Riesling typically produces wine with relatively low alcohol, high acidity, steely minerality and stone fruit, spice, citrus and floral notes. At its ripest, it leans towards juicy peach, nectarine and pineapple, while cooler climes produce Rieslings more redolent of meyer lemon, lime and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of petrol.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is quite versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice) and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

BOBTROCKEN_2002 Item# 134238