In this humble taster’s opinion, these are the greatest Rieslings on earth. No other wine, anywhere, exceeds the clarity, polish, complexity and sheer beauty of flavor of this grower’s finest wines. Simply, like the most perfect Riesling that can ever be.
Maybe the most simply beloved wine in the Dönnhoff stable, this is one of the great vintages, recalling the ’04 and ’02, or like the ’08 but better; blazing clear and deliciously articulated, with its signature flavors of lady-apples and cherry blossom. ~Terry Theise
An aside—there’s no Felsenberg Spät in the small crop of 2013, as all of it went into the dry wine. Thus we head straight into Brücke, and into its quiet monastic stirring and yearning. That’s the essence of Brücke, this kind of ur-Riesling that seems to find our own primordial souls. In ’13 its acids feel more prominent, and it’s brooding just now, but serenely— Brücke can be obscure but is never austere. I opened the 2001 over the winter and it needs 4-5 more years, though you can drink Hermannshöhle now if you insist. ~Terry Theise
Tremendous aroma, almost fiercely smoky, with lemon and Indonesian peppers. ~Terry Theise
An excellent vintage of the world’s greatest wine value. Not “Riesling value” or even “white-wine value;” the greatest value among wine, period. For it is impossible to otherwise obtain such beauty and complexity (and ageworthiness) for such a price. The ’16, as always a mélange of (mostly) porphyry and gravel soils, shows mirabelle and iris and persimmon aromas; the mid palate is swollen with mineral, it’s almost hefty, and then the finish snakes and curls like the smoke from a burnt-out candle.
This wine was the only one to confound me. It’s smoky, snappy and has a spiny tail of radicchio sourness by which I was taken a bit aback. An esoteric porphyry-driven spiciness arrives as an umami, and the wine is curiously long. The empty glass smells minty. I wonder if I read it wrong. All the others seemed to love it. ~Terry Theise
Vigorous aroma and vigorous palate, high-toned and gingery, cox-orange (pippins, the greatest variety of apple) and vanilla; I’m waiting to see the mid-palate step up to redeem the acidity, but it’s already a thrill and a half. — Terry Theise
The dry wine from the sandy slate hillside Leistenberg, and it is euphoric in ’15 a ridiculous aroma! Has the grip, torque and stature of a “GG” along with a woodsy note and a texture at once adamant and breathy; the fullness of its flavor seems to flow around the hill before it returns and envelops you. Tender, incisive, redolent, thoughtful. — Terry Theise