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    A fresh look at the Riesling Wines of Hermann Dönnhoff

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    Think you know Riesling – think again!  Instore tasting Saturday 10 August 1pm - 5pm

    “Great Riesling is like a very large orchestra playing very quietly” Helmut Dönnhoff



    Riesling is one of the four noble white grape varieties but definitely the most underrated. In the 1960s and ‘70s brands such as “Blue Nun” and “Black Tower” dominated the market and that super sweet and flabby flavour profile became associated with Riesling. In fact though it can be sometimes lusciously sweet it can also be bone dry, light or full bodied, delicate or powerful and everything in between.

    “On the palate, Riesling is meant to move — to shimmer; to surge, to burst, to dance, to arc, to soar. Riesling has a rare trait – velocity. Of all varietals, it is the most kinetic and alive.”
    Karen MacNeil 'The Wine Bible'
    The legendary Dönnhoff Estate had been making wine since the late 18th century and with its nine Große Lagen, (these are the very best vineyards of Germany and the source of the finest wines that reflect site-specific characteristics), counted among the finest in the region, the estate today enjoys an excellent international reputation for its grand German Rieslings.



    The Wines

    2017 Hermann Dönnhoff "Tonschiefer Dry Slate" Riesling Trocken £22.99

    The sloping vineyards of the Leistenberg are characterised predominantly by clay slate soils. This dry, blackish-grey slate is perfect for producing superbly elegant wines. This characterful dry Riesling wines from these soils are therefore named after this ancient rock. Tonschiefer translates as clay slate. If you still think minerality can’t be smelt, the Tonschiefer may be able to convince you otherwise.
    2015 Hermann Dönnhoff Kreuznacher Kahlenberg Riesling Trocken £27.99
    The 2015 Kahlenberg Trocken comes in at 12.5% alcohol and three grams per litre of residual sugar in this vintage and is a beautifully balanced, elegant example of the vintage that will age long and gracefully. As Helmut Dönnhoff notes, “the Kahlenberg is a warmer vineyard and we are now picking it a bit earlier to get this raciness.” The bouquet wafts from the glass, a complex blend of blood orange, grapefruit, wild yeasts, complex minerality. On the palate the wine is crisp, fullish and complex, with a fine core, excellent, seamless balance, ripe acids and superb focus and grip on the long and vibrant finish.
    2015 Hermann Dönnhoff Roxheimer Höllenpfad Riesling Dry £29.99
    Cool fruit, stones, zesty citrus pith and very easy balance characterise the Hollenpfad in 2015. There is good tension here, controlled grapefruit and herb notes on the finish, and fine minerality. Light spice notes bring complexity. This hails from an historic, steeply sloping vineyard of red sandstone that the Dönnhoff’s are restoring to its former glory. The name means ‘Pathway to Hell’, referring either to backbreaking of working its steep slopes, or the glow the red soil exudes when bathed in the evening sun – or maybe both.
    2017 Hermann Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett £22.99
    Year in, year out, Dönnhoff’s Leistenberg challenges for the title of Kabinett of the year. Never one to overpower the sensory perception, it teases with delicate delights of zesty citrus fruit, a gentle floral whisper and racy acidity to get the salivary glands contracting. Up front and generous, this should drink nicely straight out of the stalls.
    2015 Hermann Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese £36.99
    Oberhäuser Brücke is another great vineyard site that Dönnhoff gather grapes from, another wine on the young side but with such brilliance on the horizon it will be worth the wait.Much more pungently spicy and mineral on nose, the palate has lovely fresh pineapple and mango fruit, some salt notes, and quite a racy acidity for the vintage, a typical feature of the cold Brucke vineyard. Dancing stuff, pitch perfect balance. Very good indeed.
    2014 Hermann Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese £39.99
    More complex earth and red apple flavours, less zip than Brucke, more grounded with ripe pear skin and dark slate notes. Not only is this broader but the slightly lower acidity gives the impression of greater richness. Helmut describes this as 'classic old style', like a '75, '88 or '90. 2014 produced higher yields than some previous vintages so very careful pruning was required. Helmut Dönnhoff is the man who can conjure magic from his vineyards seemingly no matter how the vintage might influence the outcome. 2014 was difficult for some but this superb Spätlese shows what was possible in challenging situations.
    10% off any six bottles purchased (can be mixed)
    15%off any 12 bottles (can be mixed)