Early in 2017, I was fortunate enough to go to Germany to hunt for new and worthy producers for our portfolio. After tasting through over four-hundred wines, I narrowed our search down to a handful of producers, including Weingut Sinß. I met with Markus Sinß a couple days later to chat about their winemaking and grape growing philosophy as well as taste through the rest of their line-up. I was completely floored – in fact I was almost angry I hadn’t been introduced to these wines earlier.
Their vineyards are located around the small town of Windesheim in the Nahe, just west of the river. They farm their property organically, opting for a holistic approach to spraying. As the vineyards are quite steep, all their holdings are picked by hand. In the cellar, they are also minimalists although they don’t subscribe to the Natural Wine ethos. They do not chaptalize, all the wines ferment naturally, and they avoid finning and filtering when possible. Recently they’ve started experimenting with low and no-Sulphur wines including a Pet-Nat. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come.
At the helm is a confident and thoughtful 28-year old: Johannes Sinß. He is part of Generation Riesling – a Germany wide collective of young winemakers dedicated to modernizing their wine industry, and sharing information. At the moment, they are not widely distributed but with pundits like Stuart Pigott singing their praise, it’s only a matter of time before they burst onto the international scene.
2016 WINDESHEIM WEISSBURGUNDER ‘S’
The Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) is harvested mostly from Rosenberg with a small amount coming from Sonnenmorgen, east and north of Windesheim respectively. The power of the former is balanced by the delicacy of the latter. The vines are between twenty and thirty years old – finally coming into their own. The grapes are crushed and after a short time on the skins, the juice is pressed off into stainless steel and neutral puncheon for fermentation and ageing.
2016 RIESLING TROCKEN
This wine is made from Riesling grapes grown around the town of Windesheim. The grapes are crushed and after a short period of time on the skins, the juice is pressed off into stainless steel for an indigenous fermentation. The wine is bottled with 6 g/l of residual sugar keeping it comfortably in the trocken category.
2016 ROMERBERG RIESLING KABINETT
Römerberg is located just west of the village of Windesheim. The soils here are a deep red sandstone. The amphitheater-like aspect in combination with the soils yield powerful and focused wines. The grapes are pressed into stainless steel where it ferments and sits with lees until March (fermentation is arrested by chilling the must instead of filtering of dosing with Sulphur). It is then racked and bottled.
2015 ROMERBERG RIESLING ‘R’ TROCKEN
This wine is a selection of the best grapes from the oldest vines in Römerberg, east of their village. The exceptional ripeness is the result of later harvest (end of October), yet acidity hasn’t been sacrificed thanks to the soils (red sandstone) and the age of the vines. The grapes are crushed and macerate with the skins for six hours before being pressed off into 1200L neutral barrels for fermentation and élevage.