Sauvignon blanc Freinsheim
QbA Pfalz, Weingut Rings, 2016
According to its makers, this Sauvignon Blanc from Freinsheim embodies neither New Zealand nor the Loire, but the sun-drenched Palatinate. The nose is typically animating with nuances of gooseberry, honeysuckle, freshly mown grass, pepper and a little pepper. On the palate, it is grippingly mineral with vibrant acidity and length, with lots of juice and fruit and a long finish.
|Origin:||Deutschland / Pfalz|
|Grape variety:||Sauvignon Blanc|
|Ripening potential:||2 to 6 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Apéro pastries, Fish terrine, Giant crevettes, grilled langoustines, Penne con pesto, Salad with vegetables, pulses, pasta, Asparagus specialities|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank, soft pressing, fermentation at low temperatures|
|Harvest:||in several rounds (tries), hand-picking with simultaneous grape sel|
|Maturation:||partly in steel tank|
|Residual sugar:||2,4 g/ l|
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 Sauvignon blanc can be recognized with your eyes closed. Its typical bouquet is marked by green notes: freshly cut grass, tomato bunches, gooseberry. Citrus fruits, cassis and flint join into the mix. In warmer latitudes it also shows exotic aromas, such as passion fruit. Its acidity is decidedly lively. In all likelihood, it comes from the Loire Valley, where it is vinified in Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre in its purest form: varietally, and without timber. In the 18th century, it found its way to Bordeaux. Ambitious producers assemble it there with Sémillon into substantial whites, which are aged in oak barrels. The Sauvignon blanc has been a sensational success in the past 20 years in New Zealand. With its refreshing sweet-and-sour style, winemakers from down under have conquered the world. The rich Sauvignons from Styria and crisp examples of South Tyrol and Friuli are worth mentioning as well. It pairs with anything from the sea. Or do it like they do on the Loire, and enjoy it with goat cheese.