2017 Donnhoff Kreuznacher Kahlenberg Riesling Trocken

SKU #1376233 91 points John Gilman

 The 2017 Kahlenberg Trocken comes in at 12.5 percent alcohol and three grams per liter of residual sugar in this vintage and is a beautifully balanced, elegant example of the vintate that will age long and gracefully. As Helmut Dönnhoff notes, “the Kahlenberg is a warmer vineyard and we are now picking it a bit earlier to get this raciness.” The bouquet wafts from the glass in nascently complex blend of blood orange, grapefruit, wild yeasts, complex minerality, citrus peel and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is crisp, fullish and complex, with a fine core, excellent, seamless balance, ripe acids and superb focus and grip on the long and vibrant finish. This will need at least a couple of years in the cellar to start to blossom from behind its suave structural elements, but will drink well from that point on for several decades. Drink from 2020-2050. 91+  (7/2018)

90 points Vinous

 This year’s Kahlenberg is concentrated almost to the point of severity, featuring a cold blade of acidity by way of lemon juice allied to pronounced peach kernel and lemon pip piquancy, not to mention with only three grams of residual sugar. But the wine’s sheer density reflects a buffering capacity that keeps the acids sufficiently in check, and there is just enough flesh of white peach to ward-off outright austerity. The aforementioned blade must belong to a prehistoric knife, because the formidably penetrating finish here, projects a striking impression of stony micro-impingements. If ever there were a vinous instance of nomen est omen, this is surely it (Kahl = “bare-naked”)! (DS)  (4/2019)

Jancis Robinson

 When we use the old cliché of mountain-stream freshness, it’s an inadequate attempt to describe purity and cool breeze. The nose of the Kahlenberg lets you imagine this outdoor experience, but adds a sprinkling of salt, a touch of lime and invigorating acidity in terms of real flavour. As fresh as a daisy. (MS)  (4/2018)

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By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/22/2019 | Send Email
Stunning dry and elegant, the purity of riesling fruit loaded with white peach is crisped up with great acidity and a quite dry finish. Very refined fine minerals and pretty white floral notes. A perfect wine for food pairing as it is quite versatile and will match with even difficult foods to pair.

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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.