ABOUT: Much is written of the German wine family Donnhoff and here is our attempt at a succinct paragraph. The Donnhoff family started a traditional farm in the village of Oberhausen an der Nahe in the mid-eighteenth century. In 1920 Hermann Donnhoff started the wine estate, then in the late 1960’s son Helmut took the reigns of the few bits (4 hectares) of stellar vineyards. In 1971 the farmland was sold off and Helmut began expanding the vineyard holdings and fine tuning the style of the wine. Since 2007 the estate has been run by son Cornelius who has further improved the wines and their now 25 hectares. In addition, Donnhoff joined Fair’n Green, a sustainable certification for German wine producers. The focus of Fair’n Green is sustainable vineyard and cellar management,protecting biodiversity, and fair wages for vineyard and cellar workers. It’s less a marketing tool than a certificate which genuinely promotes sustainability for the vineyards and the people involved.Click here for more information about Fair’n Green.
TASTE: The Niederhauser Hermannshohle vineyard (in the village of Niederhausen, vineyard is named Hermannshohle) is very old and rated as the very best site in the Nahe. The steep slopes (40-60%) are primarily grey slate with sandstone and limestone. Check out these notes by wine professionals about the Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese 2014. They both paint a terrific picture.
John Gilman 94+ points - “As is the case with the Brücke Spätlese, the 2014 Hermannshöhle Spätlese is a superb bottle that may always live just a bit on the shadow of the pure magic of the 2013 version. The wine offers up an excellent and complex aromatic constellation of pink grapefruit, white cherries, slate, a hint of petrol, wild yeasts, orange peel and a topnote of lemongrass. On the palate the wine is medium-full, focused and very suave on the attack, with a fine core, ripe acids and outstanding length and grip on the still very primary, but utterly seamless finish. Fine, fine juice. 2020-2050.” JG
Terry Theise - “A loving beaming grinning-like-a-dope vintage of this perennial masterpiece, transparent and lucid; indeed it’s a dialectical explication of Hermannshohle; it reminded me of the ’08 but it’s more Eiswein-y, that sorcerous syrup.”
PAIR: Summer corn chowder, roasted beet salad with pears and walnuts, caramelized jackfruit, fried rice, and pepper & lime salsa criolla.