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.
I poured this wine the other day for my friend Friederike, who is a difficult customer as she proclaims to neither like red wine nor Riesling. Occasionally she will have some Riesling at my dinner/tasting parties as I have managed to present her with a few bottles that she found almost agreeable. In general though Friederike time is Grauburgunger time at the Wine Rambler.
This Pinot Gris was immediately approved of on account of its lovely nose. Initially mild and a little delicate, it became more substantial with time. Imagine aromas of apple, stone fruit, nut, ground pepper and orange peel sprayed over tree bark and enhanced with a creamy hand lotion mineral. In the wine's more delicate moments the latter reminded me a little of Pinot Blanc.
Dönnhoff's Grauburgunder was also very drinkable. It had some substance but was nicely balanced so it felt elegant and not heavy. An almost racy wine it had good acidity and fruit plus some spice, which made it very agreeable with food. The finish showed some more spice and nut aromas, with a little tingly cherry.
A very enjoyable wine at a fair price.