2016 Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese

Year: 2016
Appellation: Nahe
Country: Germany
Wine Advocate: 92
James Suckling: 93
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 8.0%
Price :


"The 2016 Nahe Riesling Norheimer Kirschheck Spätlese comes from clay-slate soils and offers a very clear and aromatic yet coolish and clayey bouquet of ripe Riesling. Round and elegant on the palate, this is a delicate, balanced and very subtle Spätlese with remarkable finesse and lightness.

Without knowing it was a kind of a special day for his visitor, Helmut Dönnhoff welcomed me on my 50th birthday with a terrific, botrytis-coined 1967 Hermannshöhle Riesling that was still made by his father. It is a round, lush and mouth-filling Riesling with good structure, vitality and a certain sweetness. Helmut also brought out the bright and precise 1966, which he thought he would prefer to the 1967. However, after finishing both bottles around midnight, he opted, like me, for the 1967. We also tasted the 2016 vintage, which includes some really great highlights in all categories. Helmut is a big fan of the 2016s, which he loves even more than the great 2015s. 2016 gave "charming and balanced wines with a very clear and friendly Riesling character. 2016 is optimistic, buoyant, spring-like, sonorous, crystalline and finessed, a brightening vintage whose finest wines will age very well," he said. "For me, it is a surprising vintage that I discovered the spring following the harvest. I couldn't believe how good the wines were!"

I also want to turn your attention to the gorgeous Kabinett and Spätlese Rieslings that were produced without any botrytis and are clear and precise like laser beams but also lush like perfectly ripe Riesling berries. The Auslesen were made with botrytis, but I find them less precise and fascinating than I usually do. 2016 was definitely a vintage for the lower predicates and the dry Rieslings whose top bottlings are the GGs from the aristocratic Hermannshöhle and the sensual Dellchen, as they are full-bodied, intense and highly elegant wines with perfectly ripe, lush fruit balanced by a very fine, crystalline acidity and mouthwatering mineral piquancy. Last but not least, the "Burgundian" wines—based entirely or partly on Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris—get better and better with every year. These are well-structured wines that pair perfectly with many kinds of food." (WA)

"There so much peachy fruit here you might miss the delicate floral and herbal notes. Ripe and succulent, yet clean and crisp this Spätlese has discreet sweetness and great balance at the elegant lingering finish. Drink or hold. Made from organic grapes and Fair'n Green certified." (JS)

Winery Notes:
* As always, cherry-blossom and lime and apple; an elegant cool melony vintage of a wine so pretty we take it for granted. Dönnhoff at their most virginal and giddy, and if you’re a drinker especially fond of this wine, I’m especially fond of you. -Terry Theise