2020 Weingut Donnhoff, Riesling Trocken, Estate, Nahe, Germany.
Donnhoff, based in Oberhäusen on the Nahe, is one of my favorites and I was excited to try this 2020 Estate Trocken to gain insights on the year which is getting quite a lot hype, it delivers the goods with steely crisp detail and depth way beyond its price point, this wine is always a joyous bargain and never disappoints. The Estate Trocken Riesling has an intense mineral dimension and loads of lively acidity, but still provides a pleasing depth of flavors and ripe fruit density, it shows bright citrus upfront and tangy stone fruit, with lime, green apple, tart apricot and zippy quince leading the way here and nicely accented by mouth watering saline, wet stone, flinty spices, bitter herbs, white flowers and lemony verbena. This vintage one not to miss at this place and this “baby” Donnhoff will be your guilt free drinker, while you age the Cru bottlings. Donnhoff’s vineyard sites have a complex combination of soils that goes from classic slate to volcanic, with löss, quartzite, gravelly loams, limestone and sandstones. These soils give each wine their own personality and charm, with the Estate Trocken seeing a mix of sites to showcase the quality of the Donnhoff’s holdings. This refreshing and energy filled Dry Riesling will be great with a range of cuisine choices, though I would love it with oysters and briny dishes and it very enjoyable as a low alcohol sipper as well.

The Dönnhoff are some of the world’s finest and they are certainly are the pride of Germany and their region, the family, as they note, arrived in the Nahe region over 200 years ago, and their modest farm has slowly evolved into a top wine estate. Helmut Dönnhoff was the first to bring international fame to this prestigious winery and has been making wine since 1966, and now Cornelius, his son who is the 4th generation to run this historic property and their amazing collection of VDP Grosse Lagen (Grand Cru) vineyards. Cornelius is one of top vignerons in Europe and his wines, which range from briskly dry, like this bone dry Estate Trocken to the heavenly luscious, from Spatlese to Eiswein, which rivals the world’s great sweet wines, are impeccable terroir driven masterpieces. To preserve laser-like focus and clarity in the wines, Cornelius, as he notes, presses the grapes as soon as possible after picking, all to deliver precision of form. Donnhoff’s wines are fermented in traditional German casks, both in classic 1200L stuckfass and the larger 2400L doppelstuck, as well as in stainless steel tank, as this Estate Trocken was, with spontaneous fermentation(s). Interestingly Donnhoff’s cellar has the capacity to hold all of its production entirely in stainless steel or in wood cask, which gives Cornelius the flexibility to promote each vintage’s character, allowing for the perfect élevage for any wine in the lineup. I am really excited for these 2020s and this was my first taste of the vintage from the Nahe and I was expecting a lot, and this wine exceeded my expectation!
($22 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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