2016 Weingut von Winning, Riesling Trocken, Deidesheimer Kalkofen, Grosses Gewächs, Pfalz Germany.
Weingut von Winning’s inspirational winegrower Stephan Attmann has adopted the single cane trellising, much like done in Burgundy, and Grosses Gewächs wines ferment in 500ML French barrels with native yeasts and no pumping as the winery is all gravity flow, with Von Winning practicing organic and sustainable viticulture to highlight each Grand Cru (GG) with this Kalkofen set on a combo of limestone, marl and loam, making it one of the more exotic and flamboyant of the top wines here. This was especially true in the 2011, 2012 and 2015 vintages, while this gorgeous 2016 is a bit more refined and vibrant, a near perfect expression of place and vintage. Von winning’s wine transcend varietal, this glorious dry white has elements of a fine Meursault or Batard-Montrachet in it’s soul, even though it’s all Riesling at is core with power, from it’s extract and acidity, depth and complexity add to the intriguing stylistic charms in this GG. My tasting notes are from two separate barrel samples tried about 5 months apart, the final finished bottling certainly will be more complex, deeper in flavor and fuller in texture, but without question this was a special and beautiful dry Riesling even in it’s youth and in this primary form, it shows fantastic detailing already and has potential of greatness. Von Winning’s Kalkofen GG starts with a slightly muted perfume of white flowers, citrusy fruit, chalky stones and leesy brioche with a touch of reduction like a white Burgundy before it’s medium/full palate gets rolling with brisk stone/orchard fruits, delicate spices, steely mineral tones and salty essences. A bit of sulfur blurs the picture, this is due to this being a cask sample I’m sure, luckily it blows off quickly allowing everything to come into bright and clear focus in seconds, there is lovely texture and length to admire here, again it feels surprisingly majestic, and as mentioned, in a Meursault sort of way, gaining depth with air adding green apple, lime, white peach, wet rock, rose water, tangy citronella, a hint of sweet oak and hazelnut. There’s a ton of underlying extract and brilliant acidity, which plays in a ying and yang way giving great focus and tension, this is a powerful wine that will only get better over time, this will be a wine to look for, it’s a fabulous expression of the Pfalz and Grosses Gewachs, with a touch of the exotic, but done in a wonderfully elegant way, it’s a Riesling to blow the minds of the Burgundy only crowd, impressive and with star quality impact, best from 2020-2030.
($59 Est.) 94-96 Points, grapelive

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