- Helmut Dönnhoff
- 2004 - 2024
- Case size
Wine Advocate, December 2004,
For two years in a row, 2001 and 2002, Helmut Donnhoff earned perfect scores for the following effort, an amazing feat when one realizes I’ve only bestowed that honor on four young wines. While the 2003 Riesling Eiswein Oberhauser Brucke did not complete the hat-trick, it is exceptional. Deep aromas of honeyed botrytis can be found in its nuanced aromatics. Medium-bodied, unbelievably dense, concentrated, and long, this superb effort coats the palate with oily waves of black cherry jam, white chocolate, and molasses. Unlike most of the super-high-end sweet 2003s I tasted from Germany, this one did not abandon grace and balance in favor of syrupy sweetness. That being said, while it will most certainly last for many decades, its burnt sugar flavors lead me to recommend drinking it over the next 15 years. Bravo to Helmut Donnhoff for this magical line-up! 95/100. Drink: 2004 - 2019
Dönnhoff is one the best producers in all of Germany and the estate is arguably the most famous outside of the Mosel valley. The family domaine dates from 1750 and is comprised of 28-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. The vines have been passed on from father to son to grandson and now the fourth generation holds the reins. Cornelius Dönnhoff took over from his father Helmut in 2007 after 8 years of training. Cornelius continues his father's natural (and perfectionsit) winemaking philiopshy, producing wines of extraordinary power, concentration and complexity. Indeed, they are penetrating and tasting them is like listening to excerpts of the world's greatest arias. 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.