2016 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese

Year: 2016
Appellation: Nahe
Country: Germany
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 94
James Suckling: 95
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 8.5%
Price :


"Pure and graceful, combining a crunchy texture with firm structure. Offers notes of lemon drop, peach and slate that lead to a long, echoing finish. Drink now through 2036.—A.Z." (WS)

"From clay-slate soils and with minty and spicy flavors, the 2016 Nahe Riesling Oberhäuser Brücke Spätlese is very pure on the stony and coolish nose. On the palate, this is generous, lush and sensual but highly elegant and fine, provided with a long, piquant and really complex finish. A gorgeous Spätlese!

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)

"Super-cool and super-racy, this Spätlese has electric freshness and dangerously intense minerality, the complex aromas ranging from lemon zest to pineapple just beginning to open up. Better from 2018 and decades of ageing potential here. Made from organic grapes and Fair'n Green certified." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Dönnhoff’s monopole site along the river, in which the soil visibly changes in the space of about 100 yards – four times. The past few years it has given Helmut’s weightiest wines. Amazing: from these 2.5 acres come white wines more noble and complex than any on this earth from one of the greatest vintners alive!

"*** Spring frost reduced the yields, though not as much as had been feared; perhaps you saw pictures of the night-lit vineyard as Cornelius worked on warming things up. It’s a vivid fantasy, a scrutable and visible depiction of this ur-Riesling; guava, salts, fervent spiciness (ginger, lemon-candy) and a stunning finish of herbs, apple-skin and mineral. Both approachable, ethereal and quietly magnificent, if you possess an inner mystic, this wine speaks its language." -Terry Theise