Hailed by the likes of Robert Parker and Hugh Johnson and named Gault Millau Winemaker of the Year in 1999, Helmut Donnhoff is regarded in German Riesling circles as a super-star. And if you’re thinking that term is somehow an oxymoron, you’d probably find Helmut agrees. With the affable humility and deep deference to his vineyards of someone whose family have been making wine since 1750, Donnhoff believes that “winemaking alone cannot bring quality, it can only retain the available quality.” Wine is made in the vineyard, and from taking the helm in 1971 to the present day Helmut has grown the family holdings from 4 hectares to a still modest 20 hectares of lovingly managed vineyards. 80% of these are Riesling (many of them Erste Lage or Grand Cru) with the other 20%, reflecting Nahe’s less austere climates and more mixed clay and volcanic soils, given to Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. But Riesling is king, with Helmut Donnhoff’s many classics from the steeper slate soils having themselves played a prominent role, over the last forty years, in formalising Nahe’s reputation as Germany’s third region for consistently premium and Grand Cru wines.
What The Critics Say
92/100 View From the Cellar, John Gillman
"This is superb and again, shows off the
supreme elegance of the vintage at the winery this year, wafting from the glass in a very complex
aromatic blend of pink grapefruit, tart orange, stony minerality, plenty of upper register
smokiness, a touch of wild yeasts, orange peel and dried flowers. On the palate the wine is pure,
full-bodied, racy and focused, with an excellent core, fine soil signature and a very long,
complex and seamlessly balanced finish. Excellent juice." Drink 2025 - 2065
17/20 Jancis Robinson
"Intense and floral. Very concentrated and impressive. A big step up from the Tonschiefer Gutswein. Really long and reverberant. Super-precise." Drink 2021 - 2030
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