2003 Dönnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Auslese Nahe (375ml)

SKU #1092893 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Undoubtedly the finest 2003 Auslese I tasted is Dönnhoff’s majestic 2003 Riesling Auslese Norheimer Dellchen. Its immensely complex aromas reveals a plethora of fresh herbs, minerals, slate, and apples. On the palate, this wine reveals a depth of stupendous proportions. Powerful, yet refined, it has the ethereal qualities that mark this brilliant winemaker’s best cuvées. Combining the vintage’s sensual nature with exquisite precision and refinement, this gem displays crystalline minerals enrobed in red berries whose effects linger throughout its long, sublime finish. Wow! Projected maturity: 2007-2030. Bravo to Helmut Dönnhoff for this magical line-up! (PR)  (12/2004)

93 points Wine Spectator

 This expressive auslese provides a glimpse in to the future. Firm and ripe, with red berry, vanilla, citrus and mineral flavors, it merely hints at its charms. Balanced and long, give it a few years to open. Best from 2007 through 2020. (BS)  (3/2005)

Jancis Robinson

 Very, very cool and refreshing. Dill. Herby. Racy, sleek and fine. Very, very lively. Very delicate. So pure it's almost antiseptic. Tingles on the finish. Even a hint of tropical fruit. 19/20  (6/2004)


 Fiery aromatic notes of distilled berries and smoked meat. An intensely concentrated, compact mass of citrus and berries on the palate; embryonic at present but feeds a dynamic dance of striking finishing flavors. This should evolve for years as a great monument to its site. *Two Stars* (DS)  (1/2005)

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Price: $49.99
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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted.