2018 Weingut Von Winning, Riesling Trocken, Deidesheimer Leinhohle, VDP Erste Lage, Pfalz Germany.
One of the best kept secret’s in von Winning’s portfolio is their Premier Cru Leinhohle Trocken, it’s a suave and stylish dry Riesling that really is on par with the Grosses Gewächs and shows this gorgeous vintage to near perfection with incredible perfume and complexity, it’s awesome stuff. While sure, it doesn’t have the hedonistic density of Kalkofen GG or thrilling stoniness of the Pechstein GG, but it’s damn close and it’s weightless texture almost makes it more compelling, I would say in this year it reminds of how in some years I in fact love Montée de Tonnerre, a Premier Cru Chablis, better than the Blanchot Grand Cru, like the 2010 Raveneau’s by of comparison, and since Burgundy was von Winning’s winemaker’s biggest inspiration, that hopefully makes relatable sense. In fact Stephan Attmann’s wines can rival the upper echelon of Meusault and even Montrachet, especially his Langenmorgen, Ungeheuer and in particular the Kirchenstuck, the Le Montrachet of the Pfalz, all Grand Cru sites that von Winning has in the Pfalz. The Leinhole Erste Lage is set on löss, loam and red sandstone soils with vines, again influenced by Burgundian practices, with von Winning and Attmann having adopted the single cane trellising system, prevalent in the Cote d’Or, and Grosses Gewächs and this one getting fermentted in 500mL French barrels, with indigenous yeasts and aged in a combination of different sized barrels. This 2018 Leinholhe Erste Lage Trocken is shiny and sunny in the glass with a pale golden/greenish hue and serious nose of white violets, brioche and mango flesh before leading to a complex medium bodied palate of mixed citrus, including lime, tangerine and grapefruit along with tangy apricot, papaya, green apple and pineapple along with salted chalk rock, leesy toast, crystalized ginger, clove spice and crunchy mineral notes.
Von Winning like Leflaive and others farms their grapes using organic/biodynamic and sustainable viticulture with high density planting to ensure the best quality and be responsible stewards of their holdings, it is all the attention to detail and passion here that makes these wines really stand apart from the pack and make them unique. Weingut von Wiinning is one of the best wine estates in Germany and all of Europe, with a focus on dry Riesling, obviously, but they also due lovely Pinot Noir, Sparkling and what might be one of the greatest Sauvignon Blanc wines in the world, and every time I taste with Andreas Hütwohll, their world wide sales director and winemaker, I am left speechless by the quality in these wines. That leads me back to the 2018 Leinholhe Trocken, which I tasted in barrel sample, just before its bottling, it gives me full confidence that this vintage is going to another stunner for the Pfalz. The brilliance of this wine is the inner energy and textural feel, while still being racy with natural acidity it has remarkable depth and every sip reveal new layers, it is a wine that proves Riesling gives the same thrill as a tannic red wine with a velvet edged power, it is absolutely impossible not to be left in awe of what is capable here. This upcoming release is most likely going to get overlooked by those seeking the GG’s and missed by the value hunters, so it just might fly under the radar, but I would still chased it down with excited vigor, because it might be one of the best wines of vintage under $50, I am going to put my own money where my mouth is I can assure you that! Honestly it is wines like this that gives me a child’s like enthusiasm and puts a huge smile on my face, it drinks great now and will for stupid long time to come, it will involve nicely for 15 plus years no question, this 2018 Leinholhe is an exceptional Riesling.
($43 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive