2017 Weingut Von Winning, Sauvignon Blanc “500” Pfalz Germany.
Continuing its run as one of the world’s absolute best Sauvignon Blancs, the Von Winning 2017 Sauvignon Blanc 500 is almost in a class of its own and is one the greatest white wines in Europe! While that seems like ultra praise, you can judge for yourself, there are few wines with Sauvignon Blanc in them that compare to this one, it is a match for the likes of Haut-Brion Blanc (Semillon/Sauvignon), Dagueneau and the single cru Sancerre(s) of top producers like Gerard Boulay as well as Italy’s Terlano Quarz, a wine with a cult like following. Von Winning is one of Germany’s most serious estates, mostly known for their incredible dry Rieslings from their organic vines in the Pfalz, which are crafted by Stephan Attmann in a unique Burgundy style using vines that are trained like vines in the Cote d’Or and in super high density, making for small yields and intense flavors and the with the cru bottlings being fermented and aged in special 500L casks. The Sauvignon Blanc 500 (meaning it was also fermented and aged in the same 500 Liter Barrel) sees much the same treatment as Von Winning’s eight or nine tremendous Grosses Gewchs (Grand Cru) giving this wine an incredible density and concentration, this is luxurious and powerful wine with mouth filling layers of citrus and orchard fruits along with hedonistic creme brûlée, smoky sweet wood, mineral tones and chalky/sony detail with a fresh zip pf acidity as well as a touch of exotic tropical fruit. The weight and texture of Von Winning’s 500 Sauvignon Blanc is perfectly judged and goes well with the woody presence in this amazing wine.
The Von Winning Sauvignon Blanc 500 is, as the winery notes, sourced from Deidsheimer Paradiesgarten (with those high density plantings), Deidesheimer Herrgottsacker and Kallstadter Steinacker vineyard sites, all of which are on a combination of löss, loam and the regions classic red sandstone and is a best selection of barrels. As Terry Theise, Von Winning’s importer notes, Attmann, who famously describes his winemaking as “not doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.” treats his wines with a very gentile hand employing a minimalist approach in the cellar and with the highest respect of the estate’s terroir and wanting to highlight purity. He also uses natural and spontaneous fermentation and without any fining agents to create wines with a distinctive personality and very elegant style. In the Von Winning cellar there is no need for pumping the juice or wine as everything is done with gravity flow. The wines made with extreme care are expressive, complex and stunning in detail, especially this one which gains with air and time in the glass revealing lemon curd, a hint of grapefruit, gooseberry, quince and white flowers which added to its sexy brioche/lessy mouth feel and sexy form make this special stuff. This is a no compromise wine and while not cheap, it is pretty damn mind blowing and considering it’s quality, worth every penny and will impress over the next 5 to 10 years, it might be the best wine of the vintage here! Also, it must be noted, Von Winning does two other more basic Sauvignon Blanc(s) the I and II, and while not to this level they are extremely good too, all are together these wines make you think about your choices and put Germany’s versions of this grape, maybe ahead of France and New Zealand!
($95 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive