Dönnhoff Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewächs
Vineyard: Norheim Dellchen
Soil Type Grey slate subsoil covered with a layer of porphyry
Slope 50 – 70 %
Wine Making: Fermentations occur is a combination of stainless & used large oak.
Age of Vines Approx. 15 – 30 years
Classification as VDP. GROSSE LAGE®
Steep cliffs of extrusive igneous rock (porphyry and melaphyre) rise directly from the banks of the River Nahe between Norheim and Niederhausen. Between those cliffs are small hollows, known in the local dialect as “Dellchen”. The slate soils here are mixed with the stony precipitate sedimentary rock of the adjacent volcanic cliffs. The extremely steep, perfectly south-facing slope is terraced by dry stone walls that demand a rigorous level of labor-intensive care. Protected by the surrounding cliffs, the Riesling grapes enjoy an extremely long hang time and year for year achieve perfect levels of ripeness.
Press & Reviews
Scents of white peach and pear strongly marked by pit and seed arouse expectations of both juiciness and piquancy that are amply fulfilled on a full, glossy palate. A whiff of gentian anticipates bittersweet inner-mouth florality. There is a bit more gloss here and a bit less firmness than displayed by the other dry Dönnhoff 2018s, but also an inexplicable sense of lift despite close to 13% alcohol. The overall impression is impressively rich, but the superbly sustained finish delivers a pleasant sharpness of raw ginger, mouthwatering and lip-licking salinity and a riveting array of stony, alkaline and ineffable mineral notes. “In 1965,” noted Dönnhoff, referring to one of the most notoriously awful vintages for Riesling Germany in anyone’s memory, “Dellchen was the sole site from which it proved possible to render a Naturwein – to achieve completeness without having to do anything to the must – and that really impressed me. But at the same time, this site has an amazing ability to withstand even extreme drought, because there is a critical source of water beneath it. And if that weren’t the case, these sun-exposed terraces” – which also catch reflected light from unprecedented nearness to the Nahe’s surface – “would easily overheat.”