Kabinett to Spätlesen and Beyond...
Special "German Futures" Pricing
"This is a very, very strong vintage for this consistently excellent estate." - John Gilman, View from the Cellar
While there is already a lot of chatter about the obvious challenges the 2010 German vintage presented, the fanatics who skip this vintage are going to be very disappointed in years to come.
The 2010 Germans are extreme - record high ripeness levels matched to record high acidities. In many cases, this is a very good thing.
Today we present a strong case in point with the Rieslings of one of Germany's greatest estates: Dönnhoff.
Helmut Dönnhoff himself compares his 2010ers with his wines from 1998, 2001 and 2004. If you've had any of these wines then go ahead and read into this comment all the praise it implies. All three of these vintages were higher-acid years that produced wines of verve and really mind-bending purity. These are great Dönnhoff vintages.
Only time will tell with the 2010ers but John Gilman from the View from the Cellar penned some glowing reviews - all presented below.
Balance was key in 2010 and few thread this needle better than Mr. Helmut Dönnhoff. Year in and year out, the style at Dönnhoff is one of fruit that is glowing, somehow both plush and ethereal and always styled into something super, super fine by an acidity that can be described as downright Baroque.
As profound and stupefying as these wines can be (it's my sense that more Riesling fanatics have had their "I see God!" experience with a bottle of Dönnhoff than with any other producer) the truth is that these bottles are also just downright delicious. They are a pleasure to drink; they are fun and joyous and, almost incidentally, they happen to be great.
A few notes on the wines below. The Leistenberg Kabinett is always superb and we've done our best to keep the pricing as sharp as possible, even despite the strength of the Euro and the lower quantities available. For $23, this wine is slamming.
The Spätlesen are perhaps the focal point of most U.S. consumers - which to my palate isn't in the least bit illogical. The Hermannshöhle Spätlese is one of those special, special bottles every year and the Brucke is somehow both muscular and finessed.
That said, in 2010 I think someone has to make a plea for the greatness of Auslesen. The greatest 2010 Auslesen I've tasted have been absolutely mind-freak wines, Rieslings gone insane (in a good way) with so much extreme tension, so much breadth and power and electricity.
I simply have never tasted wines like this. It is impossible to describe the experience - so buy one and taste for yourself! (Though for those of you who want some notes, again, Gilman's are below and he gives the Auslesen the heaviest praise and greatest marks.) As he does every year, Dönnhoff bottles the majority of his Auslesen in half-bottle which makes not only the perfect format for the intensity of the wines, but it also makes them reasonable purchases. $40 for one of Germany's greatest sweet wines? How much is Yquem these days?
Take a look at the list below and give us your maximum order as soon as you can. Quantities are quite limited.
To order, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Crush Wine & Spirits
2010 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Kabinett
Special Futures Price: $22.95
John Gilman, View from the Cellar: "The 2010 Leistenberg Kabinett is also a very successful example of the vintage, with a very pronounced, citric profile that is most appealing on both the nose and palate. The bouquet offers up a classy mélange of orange, pink grapefruit, slate, petrol, orange blossoms and a beautifully crystalline expression of minerality. On the palate the wine is medium-full, deep and very tangy, with a lovely core, zesty acidity and excellent length and grip on the complex finish. Very classy wine."
2010 Dönnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Spätlese
Special Futures Price: $35.95
John Gilman, View from the Cellar: "The 2010 Kirschheck Spätlese from Helmut Dönnhoff is a very successful example of the vintage. The complex and vibrant nose offers up a mix of white cherries, apples, bee pollen, a touch of sweet grapefruit, incipient notes of petrol and a lovely base of crystalline minerality. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and very pure on the attack, with snappy acids, lovely focus and impressive length and grip on the soil-driven finish. Stylistically, this is a bit more powerful than most vintages of Kirschheck Spätlese, but is a lovely bottle in the making."
2010 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Spätlese
Special Futures Price: $51.95
John Gilman, View from the Cellar: "The 2010 Hermannshöhle Spätlese is another very beautiful example of the vintage. The wine today offers up a stunning, crystalline expression of its slate minerality on both the nose and palate, to go along with a superb aromatic mix of sweet grapefruit, orange peel, incipient notes of petrol and a topnote of orange zest. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very pure on the attack, with a kaleidoscopic base of minerality, snappy acids and a very long, focused and electric finish. This wine is beautifully light on its feet and so intensely flavored that it is almost painful to taste today in its youth. It is a beautiful bottle of Spätlese that seems likely to be a stylistic mix of the 2001 and 2004."
2010 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Spätlese
Special Futures Price: $45.95
John Gilman, View from the Cellar: "The 2010 Oberhäuser Brücke Spätlese is a beautifully filigreed bottle that really shows off this great terroir. The bouquet is deep, precise and vibrant, as it soars from the glass in a mélange of blood orange, pink grapefruit, glorious minerality, citrus zest and a gentle topnote of honeycomb. On the palate the wine is medium-full, tight and racy, with lovely filigree, fine mid-palate depth, bright acids and superb length and grip on the nascently complex finish. As this wine has a pretty serious girdle of acidity at the present time, it is entirely possible that it will prove to be even better than my initial note."
2010 Dönnhoff Hermannshöhle Auslese Gold-Kapsule (375ml)
Special Futures Price: $42.95
John Gilman, View from the Cellar: "The 2010 Hermannshöhle Auslese is also brilliant in this vintage and one of the true superstars to be found at this Prädikat level in the Nahe this year. The hauntingly beautiful bouquet offers up a blazing blend of blood orange, pink grapefruit, oranges, glorious minerality, a touch of petrol, irises and orange blossoms in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium-full, deep and very intensely flavored, with great focus, ripe, snappy acids, impeccable balance and a very, very, very long and racy finish. Just a brilliant bottle of Auslese in the making!"
2010 Dönnhoff Brücke Auslese Gold-Kapsule (375ml)
Special Futures Price: $39.95
John Gilman, View from the Cellar: "The 2010 Oberhäuser Brücke Auslese is a really stunning wine in the making. The wine simply soars from the glass in a superb aromatic mélange of apples, oranges, a touch of petrol, striking minerality, honeycomb, orange zest and citrus flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and wonderfully filigreed, with a great core of fruit, snappy acids, great focus and balance and stunning grip on the very long, dancing finish. I love the interplay of soil, glazed fruit and acids that are on display in this beautiful vintage of Brücke Auslese."
All 2010 Dönnhoff are pre-arrival
Net / No further discount