2005 MF Richer Brauneberger Juffer-Sonneuhr Riesling Spatlese AP#22 8.5
Regarded as an excellent “all-round” vintage, this is a super-ripe spatlese (106 g/l residual sugar). Cork was quite wet.
Golden in colour, there’s a cascade of ripe pear, yellow peach, cumquat, and spicy dried fruits, with a suggestion of leafiness. The palate is rich, honeyed, spiced but beginning to show some drying characters.
Drink soon, and 91 points, although other bottles may be better given the state of the cork.
2007 Schafer-frohlich Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Spatlese AP#26 7.5%
From the Nahe – a small area to the south of Mosel, but very similar in style, albeit Riesling is a smaller part of production and there is more focus on drier styles. Donnhoff and Emrich-schonleber are also quality winemakers.
Light straw colour, there’s some flytox, which dissipates, and then there are tropicals – pineapple, nettle, and abundant spices. Palate is red apple and cream, drizzled with honey; lingering, great depth. Hugely enjoyable
Drink to 2025, and 93 points
Another enjoyable wine from the upper Nahe in Germany. From Stephen Reinhardt‘s terrific reference book “The finest wines of Germany” comes the tribute that the family has “maintained parcels in the steepest sites…and restored a number of top parcels that had been abandoned for decades…since they were suitable neither for mechanisation nor for high yields”, ending with Werner Schonleber’s claim that “quality comes from torture”.
Fruhlingplazchen translates as “Spring’s little place” and is mainly blue slate.
This wine is a deep gold colour, exhibiting ripe apricot, yellow peach skin, and quince aromas. The palate is unctuous and honeyed, with a touch of tropical pineapple, plus cinnamon spiciness. There is a strong line of mineral and a delicious persistence. Notes from the importer reveal the wine has 113 g/l of residual sugar, in balance with its acidity. Altogether lovely.
From the half-bottle, drink to 2023 and 94 points.
From the small Nahe region (close to Mosel), this is a good age to tackle a quality German spatlese Riesling.
The wine’s colour is a light gold, and importantly the wine is still very fresh, showing some honeyed development, but the interplay of sugar and acidity ensures there is plenty left in reserve. It’s a proper, typical, German sweet Riesling, with power and grace packed into its modest alcohol level.
There are some sweet ginger spice notes, candlewax and leaf, with breathing helpfully bringing out more aromatic lime and honeysuckle. The palate is viscous, but with some oiliness too, flavours closely mirroring the aromatics.
The wine is unforced, has delightful persistence and is highly drinkable, with just some faint, but attractive bitterness adding to its charm.
Admittedly, 2005 produced many terrific wines from Germany, and we are fortunate in Australia that Cellarhand imports a wide range of Donnhoff’s wines.
Drink to 2027, and 92 points.