We are back. Well, almost. While I have survived three weeks of scorching heat in North America (a hot and humid torture device otherwise known as summer holiday), my co-Rambler Julian is still out somewhere on a secret mission I am not at liberty to talk about. Even so our summer hiatus is over and it is time to catch up with interesting wines and events of the past few weeks.
And what better way to get back into the swing than a German Riesling!
After recently exploring his 09 Pinot Gris, it is now time to taste Helmut Dönnhoff's 2009 Riesling. Dönnhoff is the uncrowned winemaking king of the Nahe region and one of the (more or less crowned) archdukes of German Riesling, so I was very curious to see how his entry-level Riesling would do.
After it had been sitting in my famous wardrobe for a while, the Dönnhoff's time had come when I set out to visit one of London's secret supper clubs.
Helmut Dönnhoff is among the most accomplished German winemakers. The same wine merchants who complain about wine critic Robert Parker's bad influence on consumers will happily tell you that "their" Dönnhoff wines have received Parker's prestigious 100 point scores, while others will point to Dönnhoff putting the German region Nahe on the world wine map or rave over the Dönnhoff trademark elegance.
Dönnhoff has also been crowned as Riesling king for his fantastic dry and sweet Rieslings. Today we will have none of that superlative nonsense and instead take a look at Dönnhoff's basic Pinot Gris.
This will be a source of great joy, especially as I hear so many good things about the 2009 vintage...
What to write about a wine that's so annoyingly perfect that it has the peachy fruit, has the stones, has the sweetness, has the acid, has those first camomile and petrol hints of age, has the balance and has all the elegance that sweet Riesling can bring.
Not much to say about a wine which will let any of the Wine Rambler's snobbish bonmots and bad puns roll of it anyway.
I'll make this confession, then: Us having enjoyed this with a dear friend who not only makes a fiendishly good mousse au chocolat, but also likes good Spätlesen, amid general contentment, I couldn't help this thought creeping its way into my sluggish brain: This wine is too nice. Yeah, it's boring. There, I've said it.
Light golden colour. At first, the nose is a little closed - mineraly yeast with herbs and a hint of peach; not unpleasant, but also not very intense. And while you still wonder where Dönnhoff is going with this, something gorgeous hits your taste buds. Even within seconds after opening the bottle, the sensation on your palate is just marvellous. And it gets better over time, as does the nose. [read the full post...]
If you ever wanted to know what a toad puddle (=Krötenpfuhl) tastes like, here comes one. Well, it is not as muddy as you may now think, but Krötenpfuhl is the name of the vineyard on which the grapes for this late harvest Riesling were grown my one of the grand wizards of German Riesling.
Starting with a taste that was a little bitter, this greatly named wine soon developed into something really yummy. Delicate colour; a somewhat delicate nose that combines mineral with a little bit of lemon and apple. Certainly not an immediate in-your-face fruit explosion, but still with the promise of several layers of taste. [read the full post...]