Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I am a fan of the Donnhoff wines from the Nahe in Germany. Some subscribe to the thought that the Nahe wines are similar to those of the Mosel. Then there are others who say that they share a lot in common with Rheingau wines. To tell the truth I’m a fence sitter. They are their own style, and I’m sure that those who grow and make Nahe wine would say the same, as they would appreciate the subtle differences more so that outsiders.
The Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Kabinett has long been a regular staple at our household, SWMBO and I just whipping out a bottle whenever a guest turns up. Invariably, it’s delicious with its fresh florals and limes, soft acidity and gorgeous balance. You don’t need to wait for it to come right or settle down. It’s ready for drinking straight away, but it’ll develop well for several years. That was just the case with yet another bottle of the 2016 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett. All our guests loved this wine. It needs ‘No Time’ to cellar.
But it’s a different kettle of fish with the Donnhoff Spatlesen and Auslesen wine. These are somewhat rarer, and definitely more expensive. Quite a bit more that you might expect. I’ve had some glorious examples of the Spatlese especially, but with some bottle age. One can get caught out with the high sulphur levels – which help the tine age – just as at J.J. Prum. The 2014 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hernannshohle Riesling Spatlese was just that, lots of free sulphur, maybe a touch of bound sulphur too. The fruit deliciousness was there, with that extra richness – but no, the sulphur got in the way. A bit of air time helped. But not enough for me. The next day SWMBO proclaimed it free, but not for me. It’s a wine that needs ‘Tiime’ to cellar. I’ll try not to make the same mistake again.