2016 Donnhoff, Riesling Trocken, Hermannshohle, Grosses Gewachs, Nahe Germany.
The barrel sample of Donnhoff’s majestic Hermannshohle GG gives a great insight into this wonderful dry Riesling and the vintage, which may not grab the headlines like the 2015 did, but still looks to be a monumental effort, this slatey historic site has produced a great wine that will certainly be one of the wines of the year! I was amazed by the 2016 Hermannshohle, as tasted with Cornelius Donnhoff, it is a powerful and thrilling white wine that already has a prodigious palate impact and intense purity of form, and from years of tasting cask samples from Donnhoff, I have absolute faith the bottled version will be even better! Donnhoff uses spontaneous fermentations and a mix of stuckfass (oval oak cask) doppelstuck (bigger 2,400L cask) and stainless to capture vintage and terroir of each vineyard, this is clearly showcased in their Grand Crus, which rank up there with the greatest wines in the world, in particular this Hermannshohle GG which shows an elegant grace and underlying power that makes you take notice, there’s no question, when you taste this wine, you know immediately you are tasting something remarkable and special. Of course this is not new news to anyone who has had Donnhoff, one of the planet’s best wineries, but there is a lot to like about the 2016 lineup across the board dry and sweet (fruity) with a varied array of offerings that come from a mix of soil types, like the pebblely/loamy Premier Cru Kahlenberg Trocken, the volcanic influenced Grand Cru Felsenberg Trocken, the clay and grey slate monopole Oberhauser Brucke Spatlese to this pure slate driven Hermannshohle! The 2016 Donnhoff Hermanshohle GG starts with subtle white flowers, loads of flinty spicy mineral and stone leading to a brisk youthful palate of steely citrus, peach and green apple with a core of lime, white currant, a hint of gooseberry and citron that highlights the extract, and while tight, focused and compact now, it looks set to be a classic. Lingering melon, faint mango, saline and wet stone adds to the complexity of detail in a wine of true potential. I hope I get a chance to re-visit this beauty in 10 years, in the meantime don’t miss Donnhoff’s basic Estate wines and the Krotenpfuhl Kabinett, both of which are stellar values. This Hermannshohle GG should be in your cellar when released this fall, it has a rewarding future, I’d put it in the same league as Roulot Meursault and Raveneau Les Clos quality wise, drink from 2022-2035.
($84 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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