2017 Markus Molitor Riesling Alte Reben Mosel

Year: 2017
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 91
White Wine


Price :

"The 2017 Riesling Alte Reben (Mosel) is a bright and intensely scented dry Riesling with refreshing lemon and crushed slate aromas. On the palate, this is a highly finessed and elegant dry Riesling from up to 100-year-old vines from top vineyards between Kinheim and Bernkastel. This silky-textured Riesling is even finer and purer than the Saar Alte Reben and exhibits more crystalline slate acidity and structure. The finish is enormously long and salty. This Alte Reben is perhaps more sophisticated and Nordic in taste, whereas the Saar is concentrated, lush and more on the sweet side. Tasted in March 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)

"This year’s Mosel (as opposed to Saar) “Alte Reben” bottling is once again dominated by fruit from Zeltingen and Wehlen, in both of which communes Molitor has an abundance of ancient vines. Apple blossom, lily-of-the-valley and peony combine for a memorably heady bouquet. The silken palate delivers corresponding inner-mouth perfume along with luscious abundance of ripe apple and white peach. Smoky and stony inflections along with alkaline and piquant fruit pit notes add intriguing counterpoint to a lusciously lingering finish." (VM)