Ask any die-hard wine nerd to name their favourite German wine maker, chances are Donhoff will grab the top spot. Or at the very least rank in the top 5. Helmut Donhoff has been making cracking Riesling across the Nahe region since 1971 and for the last 7 vintages as been joined by his son Cornelius, who is fast making his own name on the international wine stage.
His GG wines (or Grosse Gewächs; in essence the German equivalent to Grand Cru) come from one of the most exceptional sites across Germany. The Felsenberg site is steep sloping and sits on a bed of volcanic soils, its one of the oldest sites in the region. The resulting wines are intense, mineral driven and elegant and the expertise and craftsmanship of this father-son winemaking duo is evident in every glass.
The quantities of this absolute stunner are extremely limited, don't miss you chance.
The fruit comes from the best steep parcels around Dönnhoff's Felsentürmchen in the midst of the magnificent Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg site. It's outstanding Riesling terroir with a soil of red volcanic igneous rock, a melange of porphyry and melaphyr. Fermented and matured in stainless steel vats and classic oak barrels. A great dry Riesling, very complex, displaying great, smoky crystallised minerality with a flinty character.
Helmut Dönnhoff and son Cornelius make the best wines in the Nahe region and some of the finest anywhere in the world. We can't possibly overstate how much we cherish and revere these wines. They are sheer perfection in their elegantly defined structure and flawless harmony. The epitome of their meticulous winemaking is the Eiswein. Dönnhoff wines have such power and complexity that their signature weightlessness seems nigh on miraculous. One taste and you sense the magic. These wines are on a par with the best of Germany in a very unique way: the sweet wines rival those of Prüm, Loosen and Egon Müller and the dry wines are mentioned in the same breath as luminaries such as Wittmann and Weil. Very few - if any - have this degree of versatility...
This wine is endless with apples, peaches, pears, stone, cream and white flowers. It’s so steady and long. Goes on and on. Pristine. Joyous and captivating. Drink or hold.
Attached to the village of Niederhausen in the region of Nahe, Felsenberg is a steep, south-facing vineyard on volcanic soils. The Riesling it produces here is dry and tangy, with lemon and lime flavours and a distinct mineral character with a subtle, ripe sweetness. There is some peppery spice on the finish. A wine to enjoy further down the line.
STEPHAN REINHARDT - WINE ADVOCATE
Bottled in July, just two days before I tasted the 2018 Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling trocken –GG– for the first time, the nose was ripe and generous but fine and flinty-mineral. Lush and salty-piquant, this is a full-bodied, rich and powerful yet vital Riesling with lots of body but also tension, purity and grip. Tasted again in August 2019.
MICHAEL SCHMIDT - JANCISROBINSON.COM
Imagine a cool mountain stream running through a citrus-fruit grove and you might be in the mountains of Mallorca, on the other hand you may just be inhaling the ethereal fragrance of Dönnhoff’s Felsenberg. On the palate the delightfully zesty citrus fruit gets a fine sprinkling of mineral dust, tingling acidity and some indefinable savoury piquancy that leads to elation. 18/20