This is indisputable one of Germany’s greatest vineyards, and the 2016 Auslese Gold Cap does its reputation justice. More viscous in texture than the previous wines, its acidity is nonetheless attention grabbing. An absolutely delicious expression of this most German of wines.
Although botrytis made itself scarce in 2016, the Hermannshöhle Auslese still manages an incredible concentration of luscious, sweet aromas ranging from exotic fruit to fresh raisins and waxy honey. The palate of the Hermannshöhle teaches us that fruity, sweet opulence does not have to come in form of sticky syrup, but in the hands of an expert can be crafted to perform with almost weightless elegance, great purity and exhilarating vibrancy. Drink 2017-2031
Quiet and immensely modest, Helmut Dönnhoff is one the best producers in all of Germany and whose estate is arguably the most famous outside of the Mosel valley. His family domaine dates from 1750 and is comprised of 20-hectares in the Nahe, a region located southeast of the Mosel. Its climate unexpectedly evokes the Mediterranean, and its soils are comparable to the Mosel with the addition of clay, though not as steep. The combination of these 2 elements seems to give the best of both worlds - the focus and minerality of the Mosel as well as the fleshy fruit of Germany's warmer regions. These characters, combined with Helmut's natural (and perfectionist) winemaking philosophy and Burgundian-like persona, enable his wines to have extraordinary power, concentration and complexity. Indeed, they are penetrating and tasting them is like listening to excerpts of the world's greatest arias. Now joined by his son Cornelius, the estate continues to flourish. One cannot help but be reminded why German wines used to command the prices of first growth Bordeaux. Spellbinding and thought-provoking, they are worth discovering.
Nahe is located to the south east of the Mosel. Its climate unexpectedly evokes the Mediterranean, and its slate soils are comparable to the Mosel with the addition of clay, though not as steep. The combination of these two elements seems to give the best of both worlds - the focus and minerality of the Mosel as well as the fleshy fruit of Germany's warmer regions.