Markus Molitor produced an awe-inspiring collection in 2016, which includes this stunning dry Riesling. Here some background on this remarkable wine and Estate.
After a most challenging start during the growing season, the 2016 vintage has turned out to be a charmer with much early ripe appeal. But the 2016 vintage also delivered racier wines including a few stunner cut along the great canons of the 1997 vintage, one of the finest vintages ever, as our recent 1997 retrospective has amply shown.
This includes dry Riesling which we extensively reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 38 (Oct 2017) and in particular a stunning dry 2016er Graacher Domprobst Spätlese (white capsule) by Markus Molitor.
Despite nearly doubling in size to a staggering 100 ha of vineyards over the last few years, Weingut Markus Molitor has maintained an incredibly high level of standards and this is all stylistic directions. Its wines are among the finest of the region and invariably end up on our list of vintage highlights, as they did lately in 2015.
However, what Markus Molitor achieved in 2016 defies even the high standards he achieves year-in year-out. From the 47 2016er Riesling which we have tasted so far, no less than 44 warranted an "outstanding" rating. And this does not even include the BAs/TBAs of this Estate (not yet released) nor the two Auslese *** (dry and noble-sweet) which the Estate produced from its newly tended parcel in the Bernkasteler Doktor. These will be sold at next year’s annual Trier Auction organized by the Bernkasteler Ring.
What makes this collection of 2016er Riesling so special? We briefly discussed this with Markus Molitor and he puts it down, at least in part, to the moderate must sugar levels of the 2016 vintage: “At first, I was a bit apprehensive when I saw the must sugar levels. But the results simply show that one does not necessarily need high sugar levels. One needs; above all; ripe grapes to have complex wines packed with flavors.”
Simply put, whoever likes elegant and playful Riesling should plunge onto the 2016 collection of Markus Molitor. There are true legends in the making.
The quality of collection made it for an easy decision for us to highlight one 2016er Riesling by Markus Molitor as wine of the month. The more difficult part was to selection one particular wine. There are so many deserving, including what are some of the finest dry Riesling of the vintage (and this not only for the Mosel but overall). The Estate also produced sweet wines of incredibly depth and elegance, including a no less than perfect Eiswein.
We finally chose for the 2016er Graacher Domprobst Spätlese “White Capsule,” a dry Riesling which combines true greatness with QPR. For those not yet familiar with the Markus Molitor Estate, it is worth highlighting that it does not write the stylistic direction of its wines (dry, off-dry or fruity-styled) on the label but communicates this via the color of the capsule (resp. white, green or golden) and the text on the back label.
Markus Molitor is probably best-known for its wines from Zeltingen. But overall, the Estate has a portfolio of vineyards which reads like the who’s who of Grand Cru from Erden down to Bernkastel (not to talk of its prime holdings in the Saar). This includes just under one hectare of absolutely prime parcels in the Graacher Domprobst (no wonder, these were previously owned by the mythical von Schorlemer and von Kesselstatt Estates).
The 2016er Graacher Domprobst Spätlese (white capsule) epitomizes everything great about the 2016er collection of Markus Molitor. Not overly powerful, it proves superbly elegant and multi-layered on the palate. While still rather backward, it already more than hints at greatness to come.
As we mentioned several times in this article, if you cannot find this particular dry Riesling, or you rather fancy other stylistic directions, there will be several great wines made by Markus Molitor to satisfy your needs.
The awe-inspiring collection of 2016er Riesling wines by Markus Molitor were reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 38 (Oct 2017). You are a subscriber and miss this Issue? Simply send us a request by email and we will be happy to send you a copy. You are not yet a subscriber and wish to get this Issue? Subscribe free of charge by registering yourself here below and ask us for a copy by email.
Graacher Domprobst Spätlese (White Capsule)
This immediately catches one’s attention with an absolutely gorgeous and refined nose made of dried flowers, smoke, vineyard peach, pear, cassis, mint and almond. The wine is beautifully complex but delivers this with purity, finesse and lightness on the palate. There is enough dry extract to give the wine great structure and yet, at the same time, the finish is all about freshness and lightness as one is just left with flowers, smoke and almond in the after-taste. This beautiful dry Riesling is simply breathtakingly good. 2021-2036
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.