This bottle of the 1989 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese is delicious. It combines peach fruit, spicy tones and a deep smokiness all in a single glass of wine. Each sip reveals yet another nuance of fruit, spice or stone. The wine still has a notable sweetness, but with the perfect acid balance to finish dry. The finish is haunting, like a vivid dream that is too real for comfort. Stunning Riesling. Stunning wine - though very different from the last time I had it.
. I opened this wine at about 6:30 PM to check it for corkiness or oxidation, and while it showed a little bit of fruit (most of it dried), there was absolutely no clue of what was to come. At about 8:45 I poured some into my Riedel Sommelier Series Riesling glass (the one that triples for Chianti and Zin), and aromas of fresh apricots, nutmeg, honey, golden raisins, lemons and wet rocks jumped out at me. After 18 years the sweetness of the wine has faded into the overall pattern, with the focus being on something like fresh fruit compote that hasn’t really been cooked, but instead just left in its uncooked state for a while so that the flavors will meld into a seamless whole. Gliding like silk across the palate, the wine finished with no suggestion of sweetness, but just a mineral presence dusted by spice powder. Perfect.
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