QbA Pfalz, Weingut Rings, 2018
|Origin:||Germany / Pfalz|
Powerful Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) influenced by loess and gravel with an inviting fruitiness of honeydew melon and fresh pears and a pleasantly creamy character.
|Origin:||Germany / Pfalz|
|Maturity:||2 to 6 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Drinking suggestion:||Italian antipasti, Apéro pastries, Fresh water fish with cream sauce, Mushroom ragout, Salad with vegetables, pulses, pasta, Asparagus specialities|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank, soft pressing, fermentation at low temperatures|
|Harvest:||hand-picking with simultaneous grape sel|
|Maturation:||partly in steel tank, partly in wooden barrel/foudre|
Germany – Into the elite the hard way
Sitting in the heart of Europe, the hilly, lake-dotted landscape of Germany provides ideal, fertile soil for the most diverse vine varieties. From Albalonga to Zweigelt, over 140 different grape varieties are grown on about 100,000 acres, cared for by nearly 50,000 vintners. Most of these vintners are young, modern, internationally trained, inquisitive and urbane. It is hardly surprising, then, that German wine has a good reputation well beyond the country's borders.
Pfalz: Riesling meets Burgundy
Palatine winemakers manage the feat of vinifying top-tier crus from both white and red varieties. In addition, Riesling presents the same class here as Chardonnay and other Burgundy varieties. This versatility at high quality levels makes Germany’s second-largest wine region a trove of discoveries of all kinds. Tranquil winegrowing towns with a diverse range of culinary offerings and hotels make the Palatinate region a perfect wine travel destination.
Weingut Rings, part of the Palatinate’s vineyard premier league, lies embedded in the sun-drenched Palatinate, right in the middle of the Freinsheim winegrowing district. For more than a decade, the new generation of the Rings family has been passionately concentrating on the ecological production of high quality dry wines. The hallmarks of Weingut Rings are well-balanced, dense wines with pronounced character and great cellar potential.
The Palatinate region, also known as the German Tuscany, really is a charming district. Its mild climate enables almond trees to blossom, figs and bergamot oranges to ripen, pines and cypress trees to grow and the finest wines to thrive. No wonder that the Romans felt so at home here!
The Rings family are based in Freinsheim, a few kilometres north of the small and picturesque spa town of Bad Dürkheim. In 2008, brothers Andreas and Steffen took over responsibility of the vineyard from their parents. The two highly qualified vintners restructured the entire production so that the company would carry out its own bottling. Before this, their father exclusively produced cask wine, as well as being involved in fruit cultivation. Their indefatigable striving for quality ensured that experts soon took notice. Quite deservedly, in 2012 the brothers were awarded the German Red Wine Award for their Portugieser Reserve 2009, and were therefore distinguished as THE newcomers. In 2015, the estate was accepted into the VDP (Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates), and in 2017 was distinguished with 4 grapes by the Gault-Millau Wine Guide.
The original 12 hectares has since been expanded by a further 19 hectares. The estate owns high quality vineyards in the municipalities of Freinsheim, Ungstein and Kallstadt, and which have completely different soil properties. The most well-known sites are: in Freinsheim Das Kreuz, in Ungstein the Weilberg (around the Roman villa with its sensational view of the lowlands) and in Kallstadt the Saumagen. For a long time now, the brothers have been employing organic cultivation methods, and are currently in the process of becoming a certified organic winery. Their approach is to interfere with vinification as little as possible. The grape musts are fermented spontaneously without the addition of yeasts, and are in part only lightly filtered, or not at all. The yields are strictly controlled, and especially in the case of the single vineyard wines are kept very low.
The range of grape varieties grown includes international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as well as varieties typical of this region, such as Riesling, Silvaner, Saint Laurent and Dornfelder.
Steffen and Andreas Rings’ motivation is to coax out the unique character of every site or indeed plot, and so to add their personal signature to each of their wines.
The aromas of the forest
Pinot gris is, like the Pinot blanc, a colour mutation of Pinot noir. All three have the same genetic profile. On occasion, red, grey, pink and white, berries can be observed on the same vine stock. Some are even striped! The best Pinot grises introduce themselves opulently with ripe peach and apricot aromas, slightly woody notes and a bit of smoke. These characteristics are presented, for example, in examples from Alsace, Grauburgunders from Germany, or the representatives from Valais, where the grapes are erroneously referred to as Malvoisie. In Italy, Pinot grigio from South Tyrol and Friuli win out. Wines from this variety are great culinary companions. They get along superbly with autumnal dishes such as risotto with mushrooms or chestnuts.