Dönnhoff Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett 2018
The loess loam soil of the Krötenpfuhl vineyard is notable for its high share of gravelly quarzite. Between the stony ground and its southern aspect, this neighbor to the Kahlenberg is known for warm soils and early flowering of the vines year after year. The loess loam substrate retains water well, ensuring the vines have sufficient moisture even in drought years. Vines growing in this type of pebbly soil tend to produce small berries with delicate aromas, a lively acidity and a long hang time.
Fresh pear and apple are tinged with ginger and sea breeze on the nose, then succulently deployed on a buoyant, polished palate. The mouthwateringly salt-tinged finish is transparent to shimmering stony notes and a mysterious ore-like earthiness surprisingly reminiscent of Hermannshöhle. “The grapes were almost too ripe for Kabinett,” remarked Dönnhoff of this bottling, “but you still have that citric sense of acidity.” Had he succumbed to his inclination to start picking a week later than the estate in fact did, we would not have a Krötenpfuhl Kabinett – an observation that Dönnhoff, with a smile, declines to contradict. The wine weighs in at 9.5% alcohol, and I don’t think it would have benefited from one gram less residual sugar than whatever it has.