2021 Weingut Rings, Chardonnay/Pinot Blanc “Kalk & Stein” Platz, Germany.
I was really thrilled to try the latest release from winemakers Steffen and Andreas Rings, who have Weingut Rings in the Pfalz, because they are now one of the superstars of Germany and are doing some innovative wines that are on the cutting edge, like this fantastic “Kalk & Stein” a unique Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc blend, it’s wine that marries the best qualities of the Pfalz and the reductive and minerally character of top notch white Burgundy! Quite reductive and Meursault like, the Rings Kalk & Stein starts with lemony citrus, hazelnut and wet stones with an impressively deep medium bodied palate of green apple, white peach, repeating lemon and tangy quince fruits, along with white blossoms, clove spice, brioche and chalky/minerally essence. The steely dry and pale yellow/gold Kalk & Stein is riveting stuff that keeps impressing in the glass, this very serious and brilliantly focus stuff with wonderful tension and release, making it wine that invites cuisine to show off its best qualities and it should age awesomely well too. Though actually founded in 2001, things really came together in 2008, when Steffen and his brother Andreas got together here at their Freinsheim winery, these mostly self taught winegrowers have now become rockstars within their region and in Germany, as well as building a following here in the States!

Weingut Rings’s “Kalk & Stein” is made from 85% Chardonnay, 15% Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) with the Chardonnay coming from the cool-climate vines, on limestone soils, in the village of Kallstadt, while the Pinot Blanc is from the warm, sandstone soils of Ungstein, also home to some of the best Riesling vines in Germany. The winery employs certified organic methods in the vineyards, using things like buckwheat, radish and clover as cover crops to help aerate the soil and attract useful animals, along with using horse dung to fertilize the soil naturally. They also do rigorous sorting during take off leaves selectively and work with low yields. The winery says the vinification is done with a natural ‘Sponti” fermentation with native yeasts in wooden barrels, then the wine is aged for 16 months on the lees, plus, what they say is a minimal and late use of sulphur and then bottled unfiltered. I really loved this wine and I am now even more intrigued by what Steffen and Andreas Rings are doing and look forward to tasting through all of their wines, especially their terroir-driven VDP Grosse Lage Rieslings and Spätburgunders (Pinot Noir), along with their Sauvignon Blanc, which, after having Von Winnings outstanding version, looks to be exciting and even their Muskateller, Rosé and Syrah! They also have parcels planted to Bordeaux varietals, which could be something to watch for in the future, but this fantastic white is something to appreciate in the here and now, and this is a winery to follow. Importer German Wine Collection in California is getting a small allocation of Rings, so while not easy to get, I suggest searching for their wines.
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

By admin