2009 Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Grosses Gewachs

Helmut Donnhoff

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Cs (6x75cl)
2 immediate, 0 marketplace

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Average Score 89.0

The Donnhoff 2009 Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling trocken offers a tart suggestion of Maine blueberries that I often find from this site, accompanied by a wealth of metaphorically cool herbal and floral notes. Under-ripe pear, smoky black tea, and fresh lemon convey a slightly detached expression of acids in the finish of this firm, bright Riesling. Perhaps with a bit of time, this will become better-knit and finish with greater focus and mineral complexity. Certainly its sheer persistence is impressive. I'd revisit this in another year and not attempt to assess cellar potential before then. ||"In a great vintage with good weather this prolonged," remarks Helmut Donnhoff of 2009, only half in humor, "the only time limit to harvest is that set by the wild boar." And most of the excitement here this year - including the remarkable range of Spatlesen and the botrytis selections - was generated from a single week's picking in early November. "It's a year of the naked wine," adds Donnhoff, pointing to what he perceives as the stark portrayal of vineyard typicity that runs through his entire 2009 collection. His recent arrangement with the new Gut Hermannsberg (whose origins and inaugural vintage are canvassed elsewhere in this report) has taken Schlossbockelheimer Kupfergrube out of Helmut Donnhoff's line-up, while he has roughly doubled the surface area in the Hermannshohle under his control (to nearly 10 acres, or roughly half the Einzellage). The suggested retail prices I received from Donnhoff's importer represented significant price reductions vis-a-vis the last two years - and prices on the estate's private customer list have remained virtually unchanged for several years - adding yet another reason to seek them out. "I want to offer my customers good value," remarks Donnhoff with, in my view, considerable understatement, "and I'm proud of the fact that nobody in the trade who has bought from me has lost money reselling my wine."||Terry Theise Estate Selections, imported by Michael Skurnik Wines, Inc., Syosset, NY; tel. (516) 677-9300 Wine Advocate.February, 2011

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