2003 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese
We opened this as a bit of a lark for a mid-week mini celebration. The first sip was lovely, and the wine stayed on a consistent, high peak all evening. Flavors run to the peachy side of the spectrum, though there are too many other fruit elements to pin them all down. Michael Broadbent has often referref to "Nahe fruit salad", and that is a very apt descriptor. Some developed characteristics are beginning to emerge, though they are not a focal point at this stage. What is quite stunning is the overall balance of the wine. It is completely of a piece. Nothing sticks out. Some might call it soft, as the acids are not a specific factor, but I would rather just think of the wine as completely integrated, even at this youthful stage. It glides across the palate like silk, and leaves no trace of heaviness, just a wisp of fruit and a saline minerality that lingers long after the wine is gone.
I have little faith in my store of 2003 German Riesling, but a bottle such as this one gives me more than a glimmer of hope (at least for Donnhoff).
Democracy dies in the darkness