2019 Weingut Donnhoff, Riesling Kabinett, Niederhauser Klamm, Nahe Germany.
These 2019 German Rieslings, at least the ones I’ve tried so far, are absolutely charming and unbridledly joyous in their youth, especially these modern high quality Kabinett level wines, which are enjoying a serious renaissance in popularity and have never been better, with Cornelius Donnhoff’s impeccable versions being huge standouts, especially this Niederhauser Klamm with its crystalline purity, slightly off dry personality and beautiful yellow fruits. The lightness, but underlying complexity make this easy to love and flexible Kabinett is everything you could ask for and more with the slightly drier than normal sweetness (RS) level makes for a refreshing and smooth Riesling, with a hint of creamy texture, rather than sugary, and a nicely crisp finish that goes great with lots of different foods, from Asian to classic German fare and or sea food. Delightful as an aperitif as well, the 2019 impresses from start to finish, delivering a stellar performance for this re-imagined category with distinct terroir, mineral notes and layers of racy citrus and peachy stone fruits with delicate spiciness and a very pleasing mouth feel, this Niederhauser Klamm Kabinett is open and expressive, less slatey (flinty) intense and coldly precise than Donnhoff’s Oberhäuser Leistenberg, but every bit as compelling and age worthy. There are lime, apricot, tart apple, minty herbs, wet stone and melon sensations that come out as you sip this fine example from one of the Nahe’s greatest estates and one of the world’s best winemakers, there is no better time than now to explore full collection of Donnhoff, from their powerful dry (Trocken) wines to their heavenly balanced sweet offerings, there is no better lineup of Rieslings on earth. Donnhoff is one of my “desert island” wines, these are Rieslings that I cannot imagine living without, honestly life is too short and precious not to have a few bottles of these around at all times!
It’s well known that the Donnhoff family is committed to the exceptional and this is a winery that never rests on its laurels, there will never be any rust here and the hard work and the down to earth grit continues here with a never ending attention to detail in the cellar and back breaking work in the vineyards, all of which are truly Grand Cru sites that have an amazing array of different soils and characteristics. The Niederhauser Klamm, a VDP Grosse Lage site, is set on a combination of volcanic porphyry, loam and loess based soils, with some weathered dark slate as well, which gives this wine its ripe outgoing nature, light spicy and exotic elements, this is a delightful little Kabinett that shows the quality of place and the talented touch and gentle guidance from vine to bottle by Cornelius and his team. All the vineyards are immaculately farmed, everything is done with care hand tending and to organic principles at this famous property, and while a small region, the Nahe is incredibly diverse from its upper to lower areas, with Donnhoff having some this river regions most dramatic and complex sites. Klamm sites next to the legendary Grand Cru Hermannshöhle, one of the world’s most prized vineyards and that pedigree certainly shows here, this wine is a class act. The 2019 Niederhauser Klamm was fermented and matured in both stainless steel and large oak casks that allows for transparent delicacy and to give these wonderful wines their underlying substance. The Nahe, which runs into the mightly Rhein at Bingen, is actually a family warm region and gets lots of sunshine that the vineyards soak up and allows for the Riesling to get a full development of phenolic ripeness and depth of flavors, which especially shows in the densely Grosses Gewachs that are some of the most sought after dry white wines in the world, blowing away many top white Burgundies that sell for two or three times the price! For everyday value and succulent pleasure these Donnhoff Kabinett(s) are insanely rewarding wines, don’t miss these brilliant 2019s!
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive