2023 Weingut Von Winning, Sauvignon Blanc “Lime Rift” Pfalz, Germany.
I was thrilled to meet up with Stephan Attmann, director of winemaking of the famous Pfalz Von Winning estate, and taste through the latest releases, which of course included a world class set of Rieslings, but I also got a chance to taste the Chardonnay for the first time and this newer version of Sauvignon Blanc. While obviously well know for the Rieslings here, Von Winning’s Sauvignon Blancs are absolutely outstanding, rivaling the best from the Loire Valley, with this superb Lime Rift, being a standout with a racy medium bodied mineral driven palate, showing of lemon/lime, gooseberry, white peach, muskmelon and tangy quince fruits. There’s a limestone influenced steely/chalky Sancerre like character, along with zesty acidity, tart herbaceousness, bone dry finesse, while also having a nice textural quality. This Lime Rift Sauvignon Blanc comes from a selection of Von Winnings limestone soil parcels and was fermented and aged in a combination of 90% stainless steel and 10% well used neutral oak casks, which includes 500L French oak. Von Winning’s Sauvignon Blancs, like their Rieslings, have tremendous aging potential and patience will certainly be greatly rewarded! Careful, almost Burgundy like, as mentioned in my prior reviews, treatment and methods doesn’t start and end with Von Winning’s GG Rieslings, as they also employ this native yeast and gentle regime with their all wood fermented and matured Sauvignon Blanc 500, which is one of the world’s greatest version of the grape, as well as to this one in part, making it a real class effort. It was a great privilege to meet Attmann and sample some of his greatest hits, including the upcoming set of GGs, which are rock star wines, especially the Kirschenstuck and Ungeheuer, as well as one of my secret favorites, the Reiterphad Erste Gewachs, all of which I will review soon.

The historic Von Winning estate, as mentioned before, was founded in 1849, by Leopold Von Winning, but saw its most important evolution under Dr. Andreas Deinhard, with his commitment to excellence and improvements in vineyard management, the Deinhard’s were also a founding members of the VDP. The VDP, which focused on single cru sites, like those in Von Winning’s holdings in Ruppertsberg, Deidesheim, and Forst, has paved the way in promoting truly great dry wines in Germany and wineries like Von Winning and neighbors Mueller-Catoir of the Pfalz region are two of the shinning stars. The Von Winning 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, and now it employs all sustainable and organic viticulture. Stephan Attmann’s approach to wine growing and winemaking has helped revolutionize the wines here at Von Winning,, taking his inspiration for the Côte d’Or, with Attmann adopting the single cane trellising system, as his importer Skurnik Wines notes, which is quite prevalent in Burgundy, and shown to improve balancing of ripening of the Riesling and other varietals here. 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, and the Sauvignon Blancs are not far off, but this one is not aged as long on the lees and is bottled quicker too, to allow for more freshness of detail. To achieve this stunning level of quality they employ a minimalist approach in the cellar with the noted Sponti or natural yeast fermentation(s) and the wine is only moved with gentle gravity flow, to allow all these the Von Winning wines, Sauvignon Blanc included, to deliver purity, terroir nuance and a good sense of tension, which shows in this under the radar Lime Rift bottling, which I highly recommend chasing down.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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