German pinot noir – Markus Molitor 2001
“It’s been a while since we had a wine meet up. Up for one this week? ” The Winerambler sent me that message one afternoon and who was I to refuse? He always has a great selection of German wines, many of which you just can’t get here in the UK.
We had a selection of reds and whites but the most interesting was probably the Markus Molitor Trarbacher Schloßberg 2001 pinot noir. Markus Molitor has been the winemaker since the tender age of 20. Although his family has owned the vineyard for 8 generations, it was Markus who had the vision to restore his family (and by extension the Moselle Valley) wines to their former glory.
Pinot noir or spatburgunder has a long tradition in Germany but it’s only recently that the Molitor estate has focused its full attention on the varietal. Molitor’s vineyard the the Trarbacher Scholsberg vineyard is situated on steep stony slopes with slatey soils, low yields, spontaneous fermentation and natural yeasts along with maturation in small oak barrels produce elegant, balanced wines.
The WineRambler had a 2001 Molitor pinot noir set aside for us that evening and it was just fabulous. Autumnal leaves, mushroom, black truffle, tobacco and maybe a hint of pate (could have been the plate of pate that was sitting next to it but we won’t quibble on that). The nose was ever evolving and after some time we revisted it and I could swear that a savoury marrow aroma had now replaced the autumnal leaves. On swishing it around, a velvety palate, savoury black cherries with a smoky bitter chocolate finish. It was like someone had taken a bitter chocolate bar and stuck it in a smokehouse for a day or two. The ’01 was really showing well and Markus Molitor has certainly been able to do fantastic things with his pinot noir. Any red Burgundy lover would be very satisfied to have this wine to drink on a cool autumn eve.
Thanks again to The WineRambler for supplying us with his German wine treasures. If any of you have had similar experiences (or bad experiences) with German reds, please do leave a comment.