2019 Weingut Von Winning, Riesling Trocken, Forst Pechstein VDP Grosses Gewächs, Pfalz, Germany.
The gorgeous Grand Cru Pechstein by Von Winning is otherworldly and thrills in the same way as Ramonet’s Montrachet or Leflaive’s Batard-Montrachet do with unbelievable length and concentration, this is utterly decedent white wine that transcends varietal and norms. As I have noted in Von Winning’s outstanding set of 2019s, this vintage is ripe and hints at the exotic, but has chiseled detailing and Riesling purity with vibrant array of white peach, green apple, apricot, tart pear, kumquat, key lime, kiwi and bitter quince fruits as well as rosewater, orange blossoms, saline, crushed wet flint and verbena all elevated by the natural acidity and rounded by the leesy texture, hazelnut brioche and subtle wood influence. There’s a sense of beauty and precision here that may just be off the charts and this wine is wildly pleasing beyond what words on the page or screen could really express! The Pechstein name comes from the black basalt rubble that is found here in veins throughout the vineyard that is part of the Forst area, which also has weathered red sandstone, sandy loam and friable clay that was formed by the ancient and extinct volcano, Pechsteinkopf, which can be seen above the forest, that spread volcanic rock over the site long ago. Von Winning was founded in 1849, by Leopold Von Winning, but saw its most important evolution under Dr. Andreas Deinhard, with his commitment to excellence, the Deinhard’s were also a founding members of the VDP, which focused on single cru sites, like those in Von Winning’s holdings in Ruppertsberg, Deidesheim, and Forst, where Pechstein is.

The Pechstein Grand Cru (Grosse Lage), with its rolling slopes and ripe southern exposure, is set on a series of complex soils including sandy clay, löss, loam, over limestone, basalt, and sandstone all of which add to the wine’s glorious palate impact and regal presence. The winery explains that back in the 1800s, basalt from the nearby quarry was brought into the vineyard and then it was ploughed in the soil to improve it. Stephan Attmann’s approach to wine growing and winemaking have helped revolutionize the wines here, taking his inspiration for the Côte d’Or, with Attmann adopting the single cane trellising system, as his importer Skurnik Wines notes, is prevalent in Burgundy. The Von Winning Grosses Gewächs Rieslings are fermented and lees aged for close to 24 months in 500L French oak, which leads to the texture and depth in these stunning wines. To achieve this stunning level of quality and concentration the Von Winning estate practices organic and sustainable viticulture in all of their parcels of vines and they employ a minimalist approach in the cellar with Sponti or natural yeast fermentations and the wine is only moved with gravity flow, with only gentle handing of the grapes and wines. The Von Winning wines all deliver purity and tension, and while they are easy to love young these Riesling have tremendous aging potential and patience will certainly be greatly rewarded! This treatment doesn’t start and end with Von Winning’s GG Rieslings, as they also employ this regime with their fantastic Sauvignon Blanc 500, which is one of the world’s greatest version of the grape, if you’ve not had Von Winning’s wines it’s past time time to do so, I highly recommend the full collection from their basic estate bottlings to their majestic GGs!
($120 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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