“Buy At Least A Case”: 2016 Markus Molitor Riesling
Posted on: 08/1/18 12:01 PM
While the 2017 German vintage has been grabbing big headlines recently, we still have unfinished business with the winsome and charming 2016’s. For wine collectors, Markus Molitor’s Rieslings are in extremely rare company. With the exception of Egon Müller, Molitor represents the pinnacle for nobly sweet wines from the Mosel, standing beside the hallowed company of Prüm, Grünhauser, Zilliken and Schaefer. Strong, densely concentrated, silky, powerful and yet never weighty, Molitor’s wines offer tremendous experiences, and unmissable if you love fine wine!
I have two of Molitor’s 2016’s available sale, both from the exalted “Grand Cru” of Zeltinger Sonnenuhr. One is dry, one nobly sweet, both are exquisite, rare and instantly add prestige to the cellar. Like last years sold out offer, I expect the 2016’s to run away quickly as well. Buy these bad boys up!
2016 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese White Capsule (dry)
“The 2016 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (White Capsule) opens with beautifully ripe and elegant fruit intertwined with reductive and flinty notes with crunchy slate aromas. Silky, lush and seamless on the palate, this is a highly finessed and elegant Spätlese with stimulating balance and super fine tannin structure. It is the most elegant, balanced and perhaps also the most classic Mosel Spätlese in the dry style. The finish is clear, fresh and very salty—a crystalline and persistent Sonnenuhr of great class.” 95 Points, Wine Advocate
2016 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese ** (two stars)
“Molitor and Mosel fans shouldn’t miss the chance to buy at least a case of the 2016 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese ** (Golden Capsule)—one of the five different Auslesen Markus Molitor selected in his most important grand cru. The sweet two-starred Auslese comes from the Schiesswingert and the Fliegenberg. It opens with a deep, clear, very fine and complex bouquet of perfectly ripe Riesling berries with very fine botrytis flavors and refreshing flinty notes from the fine slate of the Sonnenuhr. Lush and generous on the palate, with a perfectly ripe and concentrated Riesling fruit, very fine minerals and crunchy slate flavors, this is an exciting Auslese of great finesse and elegance. The finish is delicate but tensioned thanks to the crunchy-salty slate sensation that gives structure as well as finesse and energy.” 97 Points, Wine Advocate
More about the Wine:
Stuart Piggot, a leading authority on Riesling cheekily nicknamed Molitor “Herr 300 points” for the rare, spectacular three 100 point scores awarded to him in 2013 vintage – a feat that no other German producer accomplished. The guy crushes it with critics. It wasn’t like no one saw this coming. Molitor made a huge splash in Germany when he arrived on the scene in the nineties. While other Mosel producers were expending all their energy on making sleek wines, Molitor disregarded such ideas aside and went for power, spice and mineral. By 1999 he was awarded Rising Star of the Year by Gault Millau.
The Germans call Molitor an “original” – only Molitor could ever be Molitor. The man is relentlessly obsessive in his winemaking. The labor cost in producing his noble sweet wines alone is higher than many domains pay for their entire harvest. Think about that. In the case of Molitor you have over forty pickers individually select shriveled berries, one by one, for hours at a time, raisin by raisin, day by day, for four weeks. No one else can really do that. Hence Herr 300.
Molitor’s other decisions are decidedly old fashioned. He was one of the first to fully convert to organic vineyard practices, he has naturally low yields (thanks to old vines), and he insists on a spontaneous long, cool, fermentation only using native yeasts and very lengthy time on the lees. Everything is aged in old fuder. Combine that with his spectacular amount of “Grand Cru” vineyards and yes, you get Herr 300 points!
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