2019 Weingut Dönnhoff, Riesling Kabinett, Oberhäuser Leistenberg, Nahe Germany.
The Dönnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Kabinett, with it’s beautiful detailing and finesse, always seems to highlight the quality of vintage and terroir here in Germany’s Nahe region, and again this 2019 is loaded with fresh stone fruit, mineral and persistent acidity, making one of my favorite Kabinett offerings year after year. With delicate yellow fruits leading the way, the slightly off dry Oberhauser Leistenberg Kabinett starts with a subtle bouquet of white flowers, steely/flinty tones, faint tropical notes, a hint of earthy/saly brine and clove spice with tangerine, lime, peach and crisp green apple. Not as fleshy as some years and ultra crystalline this 2019 is all about clarity and elegance, it really hit the spot on a warm evening and with an Asian crab sauce rice dish with plenty of garlic and onions, providing a low alcohol refreshment and lift. These carbon-laced decomposed argillaceous slate soils and steep terraced hillsides provide ideal conditions for Riesling. The winery says the cooler afternoon conditions here at the Oberhäuser Leistenberg vineyard allow for long hang times and lower natural alcohol, making for sophisticated versions of this Riesling grape. Dönnhoff does a tidy collection of lightly sweet of Kabinett wines, each with their own personality, including this one, as well as their Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl, set on gravelly Loess and Quartzite, and the most exotic Niederhauser Klamm, with vines set on volcanics and black slate, all of which are tasty treats for Riesling lovers.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, the slate influenced Oberhäuser Leistenberg Kabinett should not be overlooked in Dönnhoff’s stellar collection of Rieslings, as it always performs in classic and stylish fashion, it is terroir driven purity in the glass. The slate soils that dominates the Leistenberg vineyard, give this wine its soul and character, it is a vineyard that rarely sees any botrytis, making it perfect for fresh wines like this. This is also the original Dönnhoff vineyard site, so for the family it holds a very special place in their hearts, and I can feel the pride in this wine, their Oberhäuser Leistenberg Kabinett wonderfully transmitting a true sense of place. The Dönnhoff’s, one of the greatest German winemaking families, first came to the Nahe region over 200 years ago, and after establishing a modest farm, they now have some of the world’s most renown vineyards and make some of the world’s best white wines. In 1971 Helmut Dönnhoff began the making the wine here and still influences the wines here even though now Helmut’s son Cornelius runs the show and crafts the wines with talented hands, each of the Rieslings here are precision skillfully crafted masterpieces. The Leistenberg Kabinett, coming from between 25 and 40 year old VDP Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) vines and was fermented and matured in a combination of mainly stainless steel vats and large oak barrels to allow for this wines exceptional transparency. I highly recommend this almost guilt free and quaffable wine, while it can age another 5 to 10 years, it is drinking fabulously well now, no patience required! There is so much to admire here at Dönnhoff, it is almost impossible condense into these short reviews, from sweet to dry, this winery does it all.
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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