This is a beauty of a wine and would be welcome at any table where Rhône reds, Claret or fine Burgundy was welcome. But it's a German red that is made from a blend of rather unusual bedmates - Merlot and Lemberger (Blaufränkisch). The effect is wonderful and will genuinely put a smile on your face!
Plummy, round, soft and remarkably complex, this is a wine with power and intensity giving it the ability to match game and red meats, with the elegance and balance to be able to be enjoyed on its own. Like its white counterpart, WinWin red is a blend of the best vineyards that Von Winning access.
These are some of the most famous white wine villages and vineyard sites in the world: that's right, this operation takes up valuable space that could be given over to Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, but (!) the understanding that our friends in Von Wining have about specific patches of soil in these vineyards is second to none, which allows for sensational results from whatever it is that they choose to plant, red or white.
Indeed, this wine follows the story of its Riesling counterpart with intensity, elegance and an underpinning acidity that makes your mouth water for more. The soils are again, loamy-sand, pink sandstone and limestone marl; just giving the perfect balance for aromatics, texture and elegance that are delivered to you in spades in this bottle. The sites vary on account of the requirements that red varieties have being slightly different to whites, which is how the different vines co-exist in the same vineyards.
The grapes are hand picked (of course) and ferment spontaneously in neutral oak vats before aging in barrel for up to 18 months during which time a full malolactic fermentation occurs.
This is something that they are keen to stress in reference to their vineyards: why aren't they organic? When they answered me I began to wonder why anyone ever IS or ever would be organic: Von Winning reckon that the list of what is allowed in organic viticulture is way too lenient - they are, if you like, supra-organic, keeping to absolute minimum additions of a very small range of treatments and sometimes, none at all.
If you don't know wines from this winery yet, get to!
One of Germany’s longest-running wineries, Weingut von Winning was founded in 1849 and given a new lease of life by Achim Niederberger in 2007. Bringing on board winemaker Stephan Attman and, in time, Andreas Hütwohl, the project was one of clear and brilliant simplicity: the wines from Pfalz were some of the most famous and expensive wines available in the 1850s.
- What were they like?
- Why does no one really drink them as much any more?
The answers were fairly obvious:
- They were amazing
- Because they were amazing;
- They became sweet and mass-produced and lost all sense of terroir and authenticity.
The "New" Von Winning then was a clear plan to resurrect old winemaking techniques using the best grapes and single vineyards available, which, as it turned out, was fairly easy because the best grapes were quite literally on their doorstep. These wines then are fermented in large wooden barrels that are 1,200 litres in capacity and oval in shape, they are a traditional German barrel called Stücke, literally 'pieces'.
Most of these wines, especially the whites, have no oak flavour impact, but allow for the Riesling to be really expressive and lose the twangy metallic texture that can come from some stainless steel only fermented wines. As we've got to know them, the wines that they make from a dizzying number of different vineyard names have offered myriad views of Riesling through the same multi-faceted crystal.
In making reds, it is the site selection, gentle handling and working with slowly increasing temperatures that allow for such fine wines to be made. They have a sassy vibrancy and a sweet-fruit character that is usually the preserve of the single vineyards Burgundies or top estates from the New World.
We feel very lucky. If you like classic French and central-European reds, then this is for you!
Grape(s): Merlot, Lemberger, Blaufrankisch
Style: Structured, Smooth, Silky, Pure, Medium Full, Juicy, Fruity, Fleshy, Elegant, Dark, Complex, Balanced
Best food matches: Warm Salads, Venison, Veal, Tuna, Trout, Sushi, Steak, Seafood, Salads, Roasts, Red Meats, Poultry, Pork, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Barbecue