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There are very few genuinely exciting wines. Light bulb moments might only happen a couple of times a year, if you’re lucky. Great wines are not necessarily crowd pleasers either. Indeed, many of the world’s great wines do poorly in blind wine tastings, struggling to compete with warm, soft, easy drinking, fruit driven wines. So after drinking a bottle of 2019 Rings Spatburgunder “Vom Kalk”, I was so excited that I texted the importer “You’ve discovered a star”.

Germany is the world’s third largest Pinot Noir producer, behind France and the United States. By contrast, Australia yields barely a third of Germany. First documented in 884, Pinot Noir has a long history in Germany. Riesling is first mentioned in 1435, 551 years afterwards, so it’s high time we got serious about German Pinot, otherwise known as Spatburgunder.

Rings’ Pinots possess flavours and textures that are typical, but their structure and shape is a revelation. Woven by delicate threads pulled tight and, towards the finish, pulled tighter still. Tangy red fruits, hints of citrus and stone fruits, tertiary notes everywhere, but never do they dominate.  Pulsing, tense and tightly wound, yes, this is the key to their signature, and all around is light and shade, flecks of dappled flavour that offer a peek of future metamorphoses. Considering the openness of most red Burgundy, however great, Ring’s pinots have the balance, length, intensity and vigour to last a lifetime.

 

2019 Rings Spatburgunder vom Kalkfels

Simply red. Raspberry, strawberry, rhubarb, plum, cherry and vanilla pod aromas. Tense, linear and bright. Mouth watering texture and shape that is reminiscent of Burgundy from days of old; deep, focused, tight and expansive. Some English dampness, that reminds me of walking through cool, wet woods. Gamey almond meal and mushroom notes. Still a little reductive, smelling of an old firing mechanism, smoke and oil. Cool, poised and expansive, with a precision found nowhere else in the world. Woven, balanced and the carry goes on forever, courtesy of structural acidity. Needs years to fully unwind. Remarkable wine. Waters Wine Co

 

2019 Rings Spatburgunder Leistadter Kalkofen 

Elemental. Shocking in its attack of texture, flavour and raw power. A cool, high altitude site, with a little more rounding despite the directness of structure. Medium bodied, with red fruits, mingled with blackberry, mulberry, violet, Asian spices and geranium. Tertiary hints of game, mushroom and compost woven into an otherwise tense and tightly wound palate. Powdery, mineral tannins, with the melting effect of dark chocolate; rich and powdery, but finishing with a squeeze. Immensely long carry, buzzing acidity drawing out the palate, adding to its incredible width. Statuesque wine. Waters Wine Co

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