TN: 2009 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese

2009 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Nahe (6/8/2014)
Oh my, this is good. One word: red apple skin. Just lovely intensity and balance, very nice acidity, plenty of complexity and interest, little hints of minerality, all dominated by that red apple skin. Honestly, as much as I should age these, I think I’m getting more pleasure from drinking my Spats young. (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Had the '99 not so long ago, and the complexity was astounding. These are great young, old and in between.

Are these sweet Rieslings Alan? I’ve purchased a couple of Donnhoffs that are supposedly semi dry but haven’t tasted them yet.

Yes, Spatlese is always reasonably sweet, though for a 2009, this is remarkably restrained in its sweetness. What did you purchase? Not many dry Donnhoffs come into the U.S. (the Grosses Gewachs bottlings, and maybe one other that I know of), and I can’t think of anything semi-dry from Donnhoff that could be found in the U.S. (I’m not even sure if Donnhoff makes anything in that category).

I’ve seen quite a bit of Tonschiefer in the Bay Area and in LA. That’s a trocken IIRC.

You’re right, and I need to find one of those, particularly if you say it’s in the Bay Area. I’m just pissed Terry doesn’t bring in the “regular” Felsenberg Trocken :wink:

Terry brings in so much more dry wine than he used to. It’s worthy of celebration.

I had never been overly impressed with dry German Riesling, having been “raised” so to speak on the Trimbach CFE paradigm, but the 2007 Tonschiefer really opened my eyes. A terrific wine and excellent QPR. I was surprised to read a number of CellarTracker TNs that described it favorably, but for it being “simple.” I didn’t get that at all.

On the topic of Donnhoff, if you want to have your eyes opened to seriously impressive dry German Riesling, pick up a '12 Donnhoff Hermannshohle GG, which are readily available and spectacular. In fact, Woodland Hills Wine Co has them right now for the sick price of $49.99.

Ryan, good advice! I buy at least one 6-pack GG combo every year. Have been drinking the GG since 2004 vintage (a bottle a friend of mine brought back from a visit to the winery).

Great. There goes my June buying moratorium.

The 2003 Hermannshohle GG is really good as well. One left, and I am really debating when to open it.

The Riesling I just purchased was a 2012 Dönnhoff Riesling Trocken. Im guessing from what you said that this is a sweet wine; of well, I might like it.

That’s Donnhoff’s basic dry wine. Should be tasty. The Grosses Gewachs (“Great Growth”) bottlings are Donnhoff’s single-vineyard “grand cru” dry riesling. A step up in complexity but the wines are nice up and down the range (although perhaps not the best value in the region).

No. The word trocken means dry.


Thanks for the TN. Luckily I have 12 of these left.

Heck, with that many it’s time to break one out and enjoy! This would pair nicely with a nice afternoon thunderstorm [cheers.gif]

Just picked up a few to try…
in terms of sweetness (residual sugar level), how does the GG compare to the Spatlese?


The GG is a dry wine (although it can have some RS, i think up to 9g/l, although I’m not sure where the Hermannshohle falls specifically), while the Spatlese is sweet or off-dry.

Correct, the GG cannot go past 9 g/l. The regular Spatlese often has 5x or more than that.