2019 Weingut Donnhoff, Riesling Trocken, Nahe Germany.
The estate bottling of dry Riesling from Donnhoff, the basic wine that is anything but basic is a fabulous wine, especially delicious in this 2019 vintage, and it is sourced from some of the wineries best sites, including, mostly from Oberhauser Felsenberg set on volcanic soils, Kieselberg on pure slate and Klamm that has weathered porphyry and slate al of which adds to the style and complexity to this Riesling. The Donnhoff Estate Trocken is beautifully crafted with stunning mineral notes and a layered textural feel on the palate, this wine is like a Raveneau Chablis, with crystalline detail and vibrant acidity showing lemony citrus, apricot flesh, quince and green apple fruit along with spicy accents, wet stones, steely tones, white flowers as well as exotic dried ginger and delicate tropical elements. This vintage is the real deal and if this wine is this good, I can only imagine how great the the Cru bottlings from Cornelius Donnhoff will be, I am glad to have ordered a few as they look to be a legendary collection. The 2019 is surprisingly deep and it is almost profound in its impact, it grabs your attention and brings a big smile, it drinks wonderfully on its own, but certainly will provide good companionship with lots of food choices from smoked salmon, cured meats, oysters and lightly spiced Asian cuisine. As the Riesling renaissance continues to grow around the world with great stuff being made from Australia, Italy, New Zealand to the Finger Lakes as well as tasty versions from the west coast, the rise in quality in California especially is awesome, it is still good to look to Alsace, Austria and Germany for the benchmark which Donnhoff gives us.

Donnhoff’s quality is well known, but it is worth noting this estate is one of the wine world’s greatest treasures and their wines are some of the best in Europe, let alone Germany and this entry level Riesling Trocken is a stunning value and a great way to be introduced to Donnhoff, an early VDP estate, and the Nahe region. Donnhoff has a variety of incredible vineyards to work with and are full of individual nuances, character and distinction with a collection of ancient soils with the mentioned volcanic porphyry rock and intense slate as well as red sandstone, limestone and some loess loam. And while the middle Nahe is a warm area and quite arid, it does get its river influence, the climate allows Donnhoff to create a vast array of wines from their exceptional dry styles, that includes their fantastic GGs, to Eiswein, as well as classic selection of Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese. The 2019 Trocken, that was fermented in a combination of stainless and large oak casks, delivers a crisp and exciting performance in the glass, it is a steal for the price, and it was a welcome relief from the news of the world, with fires devastating the California wine community, making a heartbreaking sense of loss and then there’s COVID adding fear and suffering, things are very unsettled, thankfully this Riesling transported me away for a few glorious moments. Donnhoff has made some of my favorite wines for a long time and these 2018s and 2019s take this famous winery to another level, I highly recommend stocking up! The Donnhoff lineup has something for everyone and the elegance and terroir purity of these wines is otherworldly, they never disappoint and always impress.
($25 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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