Riesling at its Most Soulful: 1995 Nikolaihof Riesling Vinothek

Posted by Joe Salamone

Riesling at its Most Soulful - Last Chance
1995 Nikolaihof Riesling "Vinothek"

"Without question one of the most haunting Riesling wines of my experience" -David Schildknecht

It's hard not to take note when Schildknecht drops something like this. There are few (if any) who have his depth of experience or knowledge when it comes to Riesling and he recently blew this wine up in a very uncharacteristic way (see review below).

Nikolaihof's 1995 Riesling Vinothek is a wine that we have a deep love for. This is a soulful bottle of wine, mysterious and deep, inexplicable and intriguing. We penned an email two years ago before the wine's full celebrity.

This is one of the more curious bottlings in the world of fine wine.

It has only happened three times before: 1990, 1991 and 1993 (and soon 1997). The decision to make a "Vinothek" at Nikolaihof is made at a very young age, based on a certain potential, on a certain indescribable quality. Once the decision is made, however, the rest is just patience. Vinotheks are held back, kept in large oak casks, undisturbed, for a very long time.

In the case of the 1995 Riesling "Vinothek," we are talking about seventeen years in cask, spent in a very dark, very cold 700-year-old cellar.

The 1995 is spectacular. It's incredibly nuanced with a vocabulary that is nearly impossible to master. The wine seems to ricochet through the natural world bouncing from floral to earth to stone fruits to minerality in dynamic interplay.

The '95 is only the second Riesling "Vinothek" the estate has ever made (the 1991 and 1993 were Grüners). What's on offer today's is the last of our allocation. When it's gone, that's it for one of the most soulful, pensive bottles of Riesling we've known.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

David Schildknecht: "Words nearly (!) failed when faced with Nikolaihof’s 1995 Riesling Vinothek, a Smaragd of 12.5% alcohol bottled after seventeen years in cask, and without question one of the most haunting Riesling wines of my experience. Frangipane, chamomile, freesia and rowan in the nose liquefy in a most extraordinary way on a silken palate to achieve an impression of virtually weightless floral perfume that glides all the way through to ... well, can you speak of "finish" when a wine doesn’t? Piquant nut oils and peach kernel along with a shadow-like shifting of subtly stony undertones lend counterpoint, enveloping richness, and further mystery to this amazing libation, bringing it, if you will – or at least, trying to bring it – down to earth. I won’t attempt to suggest how long this might continue on its magnificent way, though the closest precedent – Nikolaihof’s 1990 "Vinothek" bottling – isn’t fading. And this 1995 held up superbly for days after opening."