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.)
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 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.
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).