2017 Markus Molitor Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese (Green Capsule)

Year: 2017
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 93
White Wine


Price :

"The 2017 Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese (Green Capsule) displays a complex, bright, flinty, wonderfully reductive bouquet of Alpine-clear yet concentrated and perfectly ripe (and healthy!) Riesling berries and crushed stones. The exciting, highly stimulating and refreshing nose leads to a silky-elegant, round, lush and seamlessly structured palate with great finesse and ripe, lush fruit. This is the sweetest green-capsuled Spätlese, but it's also the finest and most complex one. Tasted in April 2019.

In 2017, Markus Molitor has handcrafted another amazing, breathtaking series of Rieslings and, notabene, his best collection of Pinot Blancs thus far. Molitor's 2017s, whose peaks are no less than 19 very fine (or two-starred) and 21 choice (or three-starred) Auslesen plus six Beerenauslesen (including a one-starred Zeltinger Sonnenuhr), are crystal clear, precise, lean, fresh, elegant and light-footed yet intense and concentrated and provided with acidity that is sharp as a laser beam. Even most of the Auslesen were fermented without any hints of botrytis. As you will see, it's hard to recommend specific wines-too many are simply terrific, across all categories from dry to sweet. There are so many 100-pointers on the horizon, more than ever before. Mind, though, that the 2017 TBAs-eight in total-were not yet ready to taste.

Molitor's 2015 Pinot Noirs are world-class red wines cultivated on slate. The percentage of new oak has been reduced in recent years so that the wines are less toasty and their natural structure and finesse comes out more pure and refined. I tend to repeat myself, but 2017 is probably Molitor's most stellar vintage so far for both Riesling and Pinot Blanc.

We will have to discuss the 2018s in a couple of months, as they will be released in October this year. "Unimaginable...!" said Molitor when I curiously asked him about the expected 2018 qualities, which will include the Erdener Prälat for the first time. But readers will have to wait until 2020 for the first Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, since Molitor leased a small plot only recently. The same is true for more wines to come from Traben-Trarbach, where Molitor just bought 6.6 hectares of older vines from the former incumbent, Langguth Erben, among other parcels in top sites, such as Trabener Würzgarten and Kräuterhaus. In my tasting room, the quietest room of the domain, I also counted no less than 15 slowly fermenting TBAs from 2018...

Also incredible is the number of bottling days at this family domaine (90 per year!) and certainly the number of wines I have to taste every year here at Haus Klosterberg, Molitor's place of residence. This early spring, there were no less than 95 wines, including some older vintages that are still in stock and the first three wines from the former Prussian Staatsdomäne in Serrig (Saar) that Markus Molitor bought nearly two years ago but hasn't yet found a name for. The Rieslings I tasted from this former picture-book domain will be released one day far away in the future. Currently, the vineyards and also the winery are completely restored. As you can see, it's never boring here at Markus Molitor." (WA)

"Apple, lime and grapefruit on both nose and palate are supported by discreet sweetness. The feel is seductively silken and a sense of extract-richness is palpably conveyed, but there is also brightness and invigoration that carries into a buoyant, penetrating, vibrantly sustained finish. The alliances of richness with focus and density with buoyancy vividly illustrate aspects of Mosel Riesling’s unique potential." (VM)

Winery Notes:
Not as steep in all sections as the Domprobst site, but to some extent with even richer slate soils, the site produces very racy, crisp Riesling grapes with firm body and particularly good for dry or off-dry wines. This is our oldest red wine vineyard, producing Pinot Noir with lots of fire and power, needing a long time to mature and develop.