Riesling Trocken ‘Roxheimer Höllenpfad‘ (Dry) Weingut Dönnhoff, Nahe 2014
Weingut Dönnhoff, Oberhausen, Nahe
Gault Millau German ‘Winemaker of the Year’ in 1999, Helmut Dönnhoff is slowly relinquishing the reigns to his equally talented son, Cornelius. This is the most highly regarded cellar in the entire Nahe valley and sits amongst the finest Riesling producers in the world. Helmut considers the 2011 vintage as possibly the finest of the past ten years, with power, intensity and minerality. Whilst the 2012 is a smaller crop, the wines are already being described as their equal.
From a steep, south-facing vineyard on red sandstone soils, the 2014 (Roxheimer) Hllenpfad Riesling Trocken opens with warm and generous yellow apple fruit, but also a coolish and piquant sand stone expression with spicy and even peppery lemon flavors. The grapes are always smaller here than in the Kahlenberg and the berries [are] very intense in their fine fruit aromas, says Helmut Dnnhoff. The roots can go through the sandstone, which is not the case in the volcanic soils of Niederhausen and Oberhausen. As a result, drought stress is very rare and that makes the Hllenpfad a perfect origin for dry Rieslings. On the palate, this is a generously fruity, but also pure, piquant and finely racy Riesling with lingering salinity and lemony freshness. The wine is dense and generous, but precise, fresh and rather cool instead of warm. It is a gorgeous Riesling that combines the warmth of the northern Nahe, closer to the Rhine river, with the purity and salinity of the Niederhausen/Oberhausen. The finish is pretty, long and aromatic, and the ripe apples remain on the palate as do the stony flavors.