The hype of Germany's 2006 has sent quite a few waves through the wine world. London merchants staged hugely successful en primeur campaigns, selling top wines from top producers at top prices in large quantities. What does it all mean to the average consumer, to whom most German wines are a mystery, who don't know Bernkasteler Doktor or the significance of a gold capsule, or why a half bottle of eiswein is worth over £100 in bond?
It means a lot. It means a lot because, hopefully, this great vintage and heightened attention will increase the profile of some of the greatest white wines on the planet. As is the norm with these things, it doesn't matter how good the top tier wines are if those at entry level drag their heals. Look at Bordeaux - millions of gallons of unsold garbage sitting in warehouses next to the some of the world's greatest wines selling out before they're bottled.
So yesterday we opened Dönnhoff's basic Riesling 2006. Dönnhoff's pretty much the best producer in the Nahe and I expected it to be good, as it always is, regardless of vintage.
I was, we were, blown away. This wine retails at £10.99 and it's incredible value for money. The nose alone gets you salivating. Fleshy white grape, fresh pear and a hint of lime with a fresh effervescence. It tickles. On the back is a hint of flint.
The palate is pinpoint balance between residual sugar and acidity. The fresh, fleshy (though never flabby) fruit continues from the nose - juicy white grapes, pear and a touch of citrus. That incredible acidity cleans the palate leaving you wanting more, lingering on the refreshing minerality. It's bursting with flavour, but never weighty - poised and balanced it manages both sexiness and elegance. Kind of like Scarlett Johansonn in a svelte ball gown but fuck-me pumps and sexy lingerie underneath.
I look forward to drinking this and many other German 06s over many years to come.
Tasted at Luvians Bottleshop, 24/1/08