A German Riesling That Outshines Its Vintage, A Decade Later

H. Dönnhoff Riesling Spätlese Nahe Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube 2000
Bruce Sanderson
Posted: June 11, 2012

A few weeks ago, I opened a bottle of Dönnhoff’s Riesling Spätlese Nahe Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube 2000. This was the most difficult vintage of the decade in Germany, a year in which rain and rot were the main problems, necessitating brutal selection and intensive work in the vineyards prior to and during the harvest. Despite the difficult conditions, I felt that the vintage did produce some exciting wines. Dönnhoff’s range was among that group.

This Riesling had a deep gold color, bearing a bouquet of sweet corn, honey and strawberry. On the palate, pâte de fruit, honey, smoke and mineral flavors showed medium intensity. The wine has developed quickly and was ready to drink; it’s probably not worth keeping more than another five years. I rated it 89 points, non-blind.

I paired it with poached Alaskan King salmon. It wasn’t the best match, with the salmon overpowering the wine. The next night, I finished the bottle with poached gray sole. This was a better combination, the delicacy of the fish working well with the subtle flavors in the Riesling.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for H. Dönnhoff Riesling Spätlese Nahe Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube 2000 (91 points, $38).

Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated German Rieslings.

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