German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions (Anbaugebiete) are situated. Germany as the eighth largest wine-producing country in the world. White wine accounts for almost two thirds of the total production. Among enthusiasts, Germany's reputation is primarily based on wines made from the Riesling grape variety, which at its best is used for aromatic, fruity and elegant white wines that range from very crisp and dry to well-balanced, sweet and of enormous aromatic concentration.
- Item #: i_311001Bottle Size: 750mlJAMES SUCKLING - 93 POINTS A juicy and elegant wine that turns really dry, thanks to the serious minerality that powers the long, delicate finish. From organically grown grapes. Fair'n Green certification. Drink or hold. Stuart Pigott.
JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 93 POINTS The 2017 Kirschheck Spatlese is a lovely example of the vintage, offering up a very pretty bouquet of white cherries, apple, wild yeasts, a touch of sea salts, bee pollen, apple blossoms and a superb base of minerality. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and dancing, with a juicy core, great cut and grip and a long, vibrant and perfectly balanced finish. This is going to be delicious to drink in its youth, but will have no trouble keeping several decades. 2018-2045. 93.
- Item #: i_328015Bottle Size: 750ML“A PERFECT VINTAGE OF THE BEST WINE VALUE IN THE ENTIRE DAMN WORLD, any color, any grape, any country, any price-point. This year for the first time it also contains fruit from a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhauser) Klamm (see also Jakob Schneider; the site is a mélange of Rotliegend and weathered porphyry, and has both steep and flat sections.)” - Terry Theise
JOHN GILMAN, VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 89 POINTS The 2018 Estate Riesling Feinherb had also been bottled at the start of the week, ahead of my Thursday afternoon visit, but it was showing quite well indeed (despite having to follow-up all of those GG fireworks). This wine comes in at 10.5 percent alcohol, has acids of 8.5 grams and sports around twenty-five grams of sugar this year. The bouquet is very pretty, offering up scents of white cherries, apple, salty minerality and spring flowers. On the palate the wine is medium-full, crisp and juicy, with very good backend mineral tug, bright acids and lovely focus and grip on the absolutely delicious finish. Another bargain! 2019-2040. 89.
"This is from two main vineyards Oberhauser Felsenberg (volcanic) and Kieselberg (slate) as well as declassified fruit from the Grand Cru sites and Klamm, a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhäuser) Klamm which we know from Jakob – it’s a mélange of slate and weathered porphyry, and has both steep and flat sections.. The idea here is to make a village wine, basically, though it’s sold and marketed as a Gutswein or Estate bottled basic wine. The Estate wine combines the two major soils that dominate the holdings for the estate, giving the drinker a look into what Donnhoff is all about. The basic wine is a calling card and thus Cornelius wants to make statement" - Importer
- Item #: i_321206Bottle Size: 750ml
JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 89 POINTS
The 2017 Estate Riesling Trocken is a very strong indication that the entire lineup is going to be excellent here in this vintage, as this is a very high quality, entry level wine. The wine comes in at twelve percent alcohol and carries 4.5 grams per liter of residual sugar this year. It offers up a fine bouquet of tart orange, grapefruit, slate, a touch of wild yeasts and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is medium-full, focused and very well-balanced, with a good core, ripe, seamless acids and excellent length and grip on the open and precise finish. This is a serious bottle! 2018-2030. 89.
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From volcanic soils the 2017 (Estate) Riesling Trocken is lovely, pure, refined and mineral on the nose, displaying ripe white fruit aromas and crushed stone flavors. On the palate, this is a tension-filled, lovely, juicy and intense Riesling of great elegance, lightness and finesse.
- Item #: i_324099Bottle Size: 750mlJOHN GILMAN, VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 93 POINTS The Leistenberg has the oldest vines of all the Donnhoff parcels and they have really excelled in 2018. This beautiful Kabinett offers up a complex bouquet of white cherries, apple, salty slate, bee pollen and a lovely mix of spring flowers and fruit blossoms. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and filigreed, with its beautiful fruit tones stretched taught over its minerality, with bright, zesty acids and lovely lift and grip on the long and complex finish. Just beautiful. 2022-2060. 93.
- Item #: i_328021Bottle Size: 750mlDECANTER - 91 POINTS This is one of the most widely distributed wines of the Donnhoff estate in the Nahe, and it showcases their pristine, clear-cut but expressive style of Riesling. Fermented in large oak but matured in stainless steel, it once again is a celebration of vibrant citrus, lemon, lime and grapefruit but with an added bounce of juicy tropical fruit at the centre. It displays the signature Donnhoff tautness.
Drinking Window 2019 - 2029
JOHN GILMAN, VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 91 POINTS The 2018 Tonschiefer was also bottled a few days prior to my arrival at the estate, but again, was not yet closed down from the mise and was showing very well indeed. The alcohol here is somewhere between twelve and twelve and a half percent this year and the wine offers up 81 a very refined and precise bouquet of tart orange, slate, grapefruit, a nice touch of the vintage’s salinity, citrus zest and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and quite racy in personality, with a lovely core, excellent backend mineral drive and superb lift and grip on the very long finish. This may well be the finest vintage of Tonschiefer I have ever tasted! 2019-2045. 91.
DECANTER.COM - 91 POINTS This is one of the most widely distributed wines of the Donnhoff estate in the Nahe, and it showcases their pristine, clear-cut but expressive style of Riesling. Fermented in large oak but matured in stainless steel, it once again is a celebration of vibrant citrus, lemon, lime and grapefruit but with an added bounce of juicy tropical fruit at the centre. It displays the signature Dönnhoff tautness. Drinking Window 2019 - 2029
- Item #: i_311866Bottle Size: 750mlJAMES SUCKLING - 91 POINTS A dry Nahe riesling that manages to be immediately attractive, but also has the herbal, smoky and mineral character that makes this region special. The spot-on balance makes this an uncomplicated food wine. Drink now. Screw cap. Stuart Pigott.
- Item #: i_362361Bottle Size: 750mlThe Rose by Kruger-Rumpf is made entirely of Pinot Noir by brothers Georg and Philipp Rumpf in the Nahe. The baby pink-hued rose greets you with a bouquet of white flowers, followed by a scent of Ruby Red Grapefruit. It is dry and piquant with a grand-finale, show-stopping taste of cranberry. Even at a mere 12% abv, this eerily reminds you of a Cape Cod cocktail, and somehow, someway, mysteriously evaporates from the glass.
- Item #: i_372075Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98James Suckling: 99WINE ADVOCATE - 98 POINTS The 2016 Nahe Riesling Felseneck "GG" is super pure, precise, crystalline and flinty on the nose and palate, a great expression of the slatey terroir. There is a fascinating blueberry and floral expression like that of the Halenberg but even more fragrant and intertwined with notes of crushed slate. Harvested at the very end of October, this is a highly elegant, finessed and balanced Felseneck with perfectly ripe, juicy fruit. The wine is dry but perfectly balanced, while the finish is long, piquant and salty, full of crushed stones, fine tannins and lingering fruit intensity. The 2016 is a great dry Riesling and probably the best I have tasted here so far. Stephan Reinhardt.
JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "Deep and dark in the nose, but blessed with ravishing, tart stone-fruit character on the palate that is almost perfectly balanced by the intense mineral acidity. Enormously long and surprisingly charming finish for a Schafer-Frohlich wine. Huge aging potential. Drink or hold. Stuart Pigott."
- Item #: i_382382Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE - 93+ POINTS The Schlossbockelheimer 2016 Nahe Riesling Kupfergrube "GG" opens with a clear, precise and spicy/flinty bouquet with stony and herbal/tangy aromas. Round and elegant on the palate, with remarkable finesse and ripe yet vital acidity, this is an impressively complex and persistent Riesling that combines power with precision, elegance and finesse. Tasted December 2017.
MOSEL FINE WINES - 92 POINTS Still slightly marked by residues of spontaneous fermentation, this offers a nice nose of elderflower, yellow peach, mint, spices and pear. The wine is slightly ripe on the palate but the creamy and ample fruits are nicely wrapped into grapefruit driven acidity. The finish is beautifully balanced. This will develop into a beautiful dry Riesling in a few years. 2022-2031
WINE SPECTATOR - 93 POINTS This white begins on the savory side, with a crunchy texture, fueled by powerful acidity. Floral, orange blossom and orchard fruit notes are introduced midpalate, followed by saffron and cilantro details on the finish. This is still youthful, but there are multidimensional layers underneath. Best from 2021 through 2031.—A.Z.
- Item #: i_372079Bottle Size: 750mlJOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 99 POINTS The 2017 Felseneck Grosses Gewächs is yet another utterly brilliant young wine. The nose soars from the glass in a youthfully complex blend of tart orange, pink grapefruit, blood orange, spring flowers, a beautiful base of salty slate minerality, a touch of petrol and a gentle topnote of wild yeasts. On the palate the wine is full, pure and again electric with ripe acidity this year, with a rock solid core, laser-like focus and great cut and grip on the complex, long and utterly seamless finish. This is pure magic. 2027-2085. 99.
JAMES SUCKLING - 98 POINTS Deep and dark in the nose, but blessed with ravishing, tart stone-fruit character on the palate that is almost perfectly balanced by the intense mineral acidity. Enormously long and surprisingly charming finish for a Schafer-Frohlich wine. Huge aging potential. Drink or hold. Stuart Pigott.
MOSEL FINE WINES - 97 POINTS This 2017er Bockenauer Felseneck GG delivers a gloriously reductive nose of grapef ruit zest, grilled pineapple, minty herbs, nettle, yuzu, lime tree and orchard fruits, all wrapped into residual scents of spontaneous fermentation, bacon, smoke and spices. The wine is beautifully focused on the palate, where ripe fruits are perfectly framed by minty herbs, grapefruit zest and ginger -driven spices. The finish is stunningly long, salty and herbal. There is still a hint of tartness in need of integration. With airing, the wine gains in density and shows huge presenc e and even a touch of power, without ever being hot. This is a magical dry Riesling in the making! 2027-2047
- Item #: i_399967Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI - VINOUSMEDIA - 91 POINTS
Here is one of those Nahe Rieslings from a vintage that leads with unusually Chablis-like animal and mineral elements. Saffron and sea breeze mingle with lemon rind, struck flint and chicken stock on the nose as well as on a polished, infectiously juicy palate, where an influx of ripe white peach serves for succulence and the piquancy of peach kernel and lemon pip for further counterpoint. The buoyant finish – by no means for the first time in a Schafer-Frohlich Gutsriesling – gets a remarkable purchase on the salivary glands while both enthralling and refreshing the lucky consumer. In its own way, arguably, this wine testifies as vividly to the value of Bockenau terroir as do Schafer-Frohlich’s two Grosse Gewachse from his home village, because nowadays this entry-level offering labors under the handicap of being sourced almost entirely from very young vines. Yes, the “Vulkangestein” and “Schiefergestein” bottlings that serve as the estate’s middle-tier dry Rieslings are more overtly concentrated. But in vintage 2017, they aren’t more complex than this ostensibly lesser sibling, and lack its sheer charm, buoyancy and infectious drinkability. -- David Schildknecht
JAMES SUCKLING - 92 POINTS
A seriously racy and minerally dry riesling that has serious depth at the long, sleek finish, where it achieves lift off! Drink now.
JOHN GILMAN - A VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 91 POINTS
“The 2017 Estate Riesling Trocken here was really showing beautifully, having been bottled six weeks before my visit and having bounced back completely. This is really stunning in 2017, as the relatively low yields have given this extraordinary depth for its level, with the bouquet offering up a precisely ripe blend of grapefruit, tart orange, salty minerality, white flowers and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is crisp, fullish and racy, with an excellent core of fruit, fine cut and grip and outstanding backend minerality on the long, complex and utterly refined finish. This is made from the younger vines in all the top grand crus and with the reduced yields of 2017, this is approaching Grosses Gewachs quality! The wine is twelve percent octane and carries five grams per liter of residual sugar in 2017 and is an absolute steal! 2018-2040. 91.”
- Item #: i_399964Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottleWINE ADVOCATE - 94+ POINTS
Made from perfectly golden-yellow grapes, the 2015 Felseneck Riesling Auslese is rich, clear and precise on the nose--lovely, flinty and subtly concentrated. Piquant and racy on the palate, this is an Auslese with great purity and clear fruit intensity.
JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 95 POINTS
The 2015 Felseneck Auslese that I tasted saw no botrytis, but was made from a fifty-fifty blend of golden berries and shriveled, Passerillage bunches. The bouquet is stunning, soaring from the glass in a blaze of fresh pineapple, white cherries, a delicate touch of fresh mint, bee pollen, wild yeasts, a lovely base of slate and a pungent topnote of lime blossoms. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and utterly seamless, with racy acids, great focus and grip and a very, very long, filigreed and complex finish. A great bottle of Auslese. 2020-2065. 95.
- Item #: i_342379Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE - 94 POINTS From the oldest vines, the 2015 Felseneck Riesling Spätlese Gold Capsule is deep, very precise and smoky on the nose. On the palate, this is a pure and highly finessed Riesling with a frisky and light character, lots of salt and piquant, very stimulating acidity. This Spätlese was picked a week before the Felseneck GG Rieslings and you don't feel the residual sugar that is just analytically high.
For Tim Frohlich, 2015 was "an uncomplicated, picture book vintage that we would take every year." Indeed, his Rieslings are characterized by full ripeness, intense fruit flavors, precision, finesse and vitality. "The wines taste like the grapes we picked," said Tim. "To me, 2015 is the finest vintage of my career. Even more, there is almost no chance to top these wines I fear..."
According to Tim, the rainfalls were distributed perfectly in 2015: "The grapes were ripe and the acidity was perfect, too. The resulting wines display precise fruit flavors and have a great concentration... The cold autumn nights were crucial to keep the freshness and acidity, whereas we received the ripeness earlier. We rarely had an autumn where we kept the grapes on the vines that long! Botrytis was perfect. But, we had so many healthy grapes! We picked raisins without botrytis, so as a result, we have a great precision even in the noble sweet wines. This is due to the thin skins of the golden-yellow Riesling berries, especially in the Halenberg and Felseneck where the grapes were concentrated in between days. The perfect conditions lead to shorter maceration times. The wines had power and structure enough, there was absolutely no need to adjust anything."
JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 94+ POINTS The 2015 Goldkapsel Spätlese this year hails from a similar section of the vineyard and the grapes were brought in on the same day, but this is an old vine selection of forty-five to fifty year old vines. The wine is very, very pure and saw no botrytis, delivering a superb aromatic constellation of white cherries, citrus zest, a gorgeous base of slate minerality, white lilies and an exotic touch of gentle spice tones in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and even racier than the “regular” Spätlese, with a more reserved personality out of the blocks, excellent focus and grip and simply stunning mineral drive on the very long, dancing and impressively delicate finish. Great juice. 2020-2050. 94+.
JANCIS ROBINSON 18.5 POINTS (OUT OF 20)
Cask sample. From 50+ year old vines. Analysis is similar to the non Goldkapsel bottling but all the difference is from the plot (darker slate, apparently). Intense and very sweet and honeyed. Deeper minerality. Elegant.
- Item #: i_399966Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE - 94 POINTS From the earliest of the grand crus, the Schlossbockelheimer, 2016 Nahe Riesling Felsenberg "GG" opens with a fascinating, fine and complex bouquet with spicy/vegetal, herbal and stony aromas, whereas the fruit is subtle, very clear and precise. On the palate, this is a round and juicy Felsenberg that reveals intense fruit, with ripe but fine acidity and a long, well-structured and powerful finish. This is a warmer type of Riesling, coming from a cru that Tim harvests with respect to the berry skins, which should still have buoyancy since the grapes of the Felsenberg tend to become overripe in a very short time, even within a day. Tasted December 2017.
WINE SPECTATOR - 93 POINTS Aromatic and juicy, this floral, medium-bodied white offers notes of hops and almond skin framing the core of bergamot, ripe pear and persimmon. Very pure, with an underlying creaminess to the saline details, accented by white pepper hints. The spicy finish is lush and persistent. Best from 2019 through 2029. 500 cases made. –AZ
ANTONIO GALLONI - VINOUS - 93 POINTS A site-typical aromatic amalgam of struck flint, huckleberry and crushed stone mingles with hops, papaya and green mango, anticipating the piquant, smoky, slightly austere impression on a silken palate. Wisteria perfume adds allure that persists in the mouth, while white peach wells up to convey unexpectedly generous finishing fruitiness. To an even greater extent than with this year’s Vulkangestein blend (around half of which originates in Felsenberg), there is a remarkably persistent and profoundly mouthwatering evocation of toasted shrimp shells and oyster liquor with all of the mineral and animal diversity and intrigue those convey, as well as striking clarity and an exhilarating sense of lift. -- David Schildknecht
JAMES SUCKLING - 95 POINTS Another amazing dry riesling from this producer. This wine marries richness and enormous lemony freshness, ending with a starburst of herbal-mineral character. Drink now or hold. Stuart Pigott.
- Item #: i_324315Bottle Size: 750mlJOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 92 POINTS - The 2017 Monzinger Kabinett is a lovely wine and a clear indication that the dry wines here are not the only outstanding examples of the vintage. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a lovely blend of peach, sweet grapefruit, gentle herbal tones, citrus zest, salty minerality and a topnote of wild yeasts. On the palate the wine is medium-full, crisp and nicely filigreed, with a lovey nexus of fruit, minerality and zesty acidity coming together on the long, bouncy and complex finish. Fine juice. 2018-2040. 92.