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The 2021 vintage from Dönnhoff

"This is pure art. An adorable wine and with so much soul...100 points." Stephan Reinhardt,, on 2021 Dellchen Riesling 

We have managed to secure an allocation of the 2021 wines by Helmut Dönnhoff, widely regarded in wine circles as one of Germany's, and indeed the world's, greatest winemakers.  The allocations include just a dozen very precious bottles each of the Hermannshohle and Dellchen 'Grosses Gewachs', which scored 98-99 and 100 points respectively.  

Weingutt Dönnhoff's 28 hectares of vineyards are in the Nahe, one of Germany's smallest wine regions, known for its rich diversity of volcanic soils.  If you are new to German wine, Dönnhoff's range of single-vineyard or 'Grosses Gewächs' ('GG') Rieslings offer a masterclass in the intensity and nuance that this variety can offer.  Like the grand cru in Burgundy, 'GG' wines take the name of the vineyard site, not the village name.  Last month, we re-tasted some of Dönnhoff's 2021 GGs, alongside other famous German estates, and the Dönnhoff wines were captivating.  

Although his family has been making wine in the Nahe for 250 years, it was Helmut Dönnhoff who built the reputation and vineyard holdings of this remarkable estate, starting with just four hectares at the start of the seventies.  His son Cornelius joined him in 2007.

The Riesling vines are old clones, sourced from the sites in Niederhausen and Schlossböckelheim, grown on wireframes, low to the ground to benefit from the warmth of the stoney topsoil, at a density of around 6000 vines per hectare.   The grapes are picked by hand, over two to three passes through each vineyard. The wines are fermented in traditional 1200 and 2400 litre 'dopplestuck' casks.

Oberhauser Brücke is a monopole for the estate, with just 1.1 ha of vines, located next to Hermannshöhle.  Late-ripening and prone to ice in winter, this site produces particularly luscious late-harvest wines.  The Dellchen vineyard is on steep cliffs of volcanic rock rising from the banks of the Nahe between Norheim and Niederhausen. Between the cliffs are small hollows, known in the local dialect as “Dellchen”.  Hermannshöhle is the Nahe‘s top-ranked vineyard, taking its name from a small mine, or “Höhle”, in the middle of the hillside. “Hermann” is derived from Hermes, and the name likely hints at an ancient Roman temple once located here.  The soils are complex, black-grey slate mixed with extrusive igneous rock, porphyry, and limestone. 

Despite the sky-high reputation of these wines in the trade, you do not need to be a German wine aficiando to appreciate their brilliance, and we hope this offer will introduce some new people to Dönnhoff.  Allocations permitting, we intend to offer some wines from the stellar 2022 vintage in the coming weeks, allocations of which will be based on previous purchases.

The wines are highly sought-after and we can only offer these allocations for a brief time, so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to order.

Offered in bond, immediately available.

Weingutt Dönnhoff

Producer Profile

Weingutt Dönnhoff

The Dönnhoff family arrived in the Nahe region 250 years ago, establishing a farm in the village of Oberhäusen an der Nahe, with livestock and vegetable gardens in addition to grape growing.  The River Nahe va flows parallel to the Moselle, to its south, into the River Rhine, and is famed for its complex, volcanic soils. 

The estate was started by Helmut Dönnhoff’s grandfather, Hermann, in the 1920s.  Helmut took over from his father, Hermann Jr. in 1966; at that time there were only four hectares under vine and still quite a bit of farmland, which was rented out. In 1971, the farmland was sold and Helmut turned his full attention to producing quality wine.

Helmut is an instinctive winemaker, believing in craft and workmanship, with the understanding that “winemaking alone cannot bring quality; it can only retain the available quality.”  Winemaking is very simple and, effectively, the wines are made in the vineyard, with the Kabinetts and Spätleses showing amazing intensity of flavour.  Helmut has embraced the growing importance of 'GG' (Grosses Gewachs) wines, from single-vineyard sites, made in a dry style.  The GG style came to prominence in the early 2000s and represented quite a departure for many traditional growers, who were accustomed to dedicating the fruit from their top vineyard sites to sweeter, late-harvest wines.

WHITE 2021 3 cases Donnhoff - Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese 75cl £195 per case of 6 Donnhoff
Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese
2021 / 3 cases / 75cl
£195 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"Dense nose and super-friendly fruit on the palate. Not overtly sweet; just beautifully precise and balanced. This is class! And although it will surely develop more subtlety, it is actually drinkable now because the fruit counterbalances the acidity. 18 points""Pure, precise and bright on the nose, with delicately flinty and spicy aromas, the 2021 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese is a fabulously piquant and stimulating Spätlese with mineral intensity, complexity, grip and tension, as if there were electric wires in this wine. It's enormously vital and stimulating. 8.5% stated alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted at the domaine in July 2022. 94 points" Stephan Reinhardt,"What an expressive and exotic nose this remarkable Spatlese has, but that’s really the least of it. The giant energy and mineral freshness are like a whale rising from the depths and blowing water out if its spout. Then comes a cornucopia of fruit at the finish, the brilliance and finesse of which makes it really hard to describe. From organically grown grapes with Fair'n Green certification. Drink or hold. 98 points"

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