Dönnhoff 2017: The Riesling Masters
“The beauty of German wine is that its greatest exponents are just about affordable… I love German Riesling in all guises.”Hamish Anderson, The Telegraph Magazine
It is with great excitement that we welcome the 2017 vintage release from Germany, with the wines of Helmut Dönnhoff at the forefront of our minds. Helmut has been making his wines since 1972, and now alongside his son, Cornelius, they craft magical wines from their riverside vineyards in Nahe.
The 2017 vintage is excellent but in short supply, it was a vintage of extremes that greatly reduced yields (down by around 30-40%) caused by the vagaries of nature. Dönnhoff was able to overcome the challenges ensuring that any grapes harvested were of excellent quality. The style of wines is best described as a wonderful combination of the two prior vintages, the power of 2015 along with the fresh, minerality of 2016. The warm spring led to early budbreak so that the vines were at risk when a frost descended late in April meaning the yields were severely reduced. Rains through July and August kept the growers on their toes, tending their vines thoroughly to prevent rot. Around harvest time conditions were perfect; cool and dry maintaining the quality of the grapes. This extended period of good weather also allowed botrytis to develop for the later-harvested sweet wines. The wines are blessed with intensity and concentration caused by the heavily reduced yields, along with fresh, bright acidity to maintain the tension vital to fine Riesling.
The quality across all sweetness levels is excellent; the hallmarks of the vintage are thrillingly pure elegance reflecting the vineyard sites and excellent ageing potential. The wines are still incredibly good value for one of the finest exponents of this wonderful grape, the world-over. As such, we cannot recommend this range highly enough, stock the cellar before the wines disappear.