Is riesling the Geddy Lee of wine grapes?


Geddy Lee photo from

It doesn’t matter how many times you try, if someone doesn’t like Rush, logic isn’t going to sway them. “The musicianship is amazing”, you say. “I know”, they say. “Geddy Lee plays bass while singing and noodling on a great big piano with his feet”, you say. “I see that”, they say. “Neal Peart is the greatest Rock drummer ever”, you say. “Sure”, they agree.

“So can I play Rush in the car, honey?” you ask. “Not if I’m in it”, she says.

In a related statement, I have decided to stop trying to convince people to buy Riesling. I’m not going to tell you that it’s perfect for Vancouver cuisine. I’m not going to tell you how much sense it makes to drink it with the oodles of fresh seafood our coast affords us. I certainly won’t mention how long it cellars, or how tasting a 1976 Auslese opened a portal to a different dimension where I could see sound and taste colour.

Photo: Markus Molitor Facebook.

Nope. All I’ll say is that 2015 is revealing itself to be one of the Mosel’s best vintages in recent memory, and Markus Molitor, the German Wünderkind who took over his dad’s winery at the age of 20 (when I was studying Mario Kart), has released a plethora of amazing vineyard bottlings from that vintage. Markus uses indigenous yeasts to trigger “spontaneous” fermentation, then cools everything down to prolong that fermentation over months. The Rieslings are then aged on lees in neutral French oak to micro-oxygenate and balance the tartaric acids, all contributing to those incredible textures and cellar power. These are pre-legendary wines from an artist at his peak.

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Markus Molitor Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett 2015 (Green Capsule)

This unique, iron rich, spicy vineyard near Ürzig makes opulent, full bodied affairs, and this off-dry Kabinett (green cap means off dry, gold cap means sweet) is layered and dense, far more so than its ripeness level would suggest (Kabinett is lowest on that scale). Smells like you tried to torch a peach with a Bic lighter but couldn’t, then you got mad and threw crushed rocks at a herb garden. There is a mini-series in this nose, and the round, crevasse-filling texture sails far past the finale.

94 points Wine Advocate $41.99 +tax


Markus Molitor Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Auslese 2015 (Gold Capsule)

Behold the tears of the heavens. Drinks like a Roman emperor asking if you are not entertained. Sweet but not cloying (it isn’t a dessert wine), severely intense but nearly weightless, this Auslese from the 80° aspect (baa-a-a-a) Rosenberg vineyard above Kinheim is magic sauce from magic-land. Peach, pear and pineapple swirl over a briny chill of rocks and almost Mojito-like freshness. Like many classic Rieslings, the Rosenberg has a Goldilocks complex, you can open it tonight or in 40 years and both will be the exact perfect time.

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98+ points Wine Advocate $159.49 +tax


Written by Jordan Carrier, Vintage Room Consultant at Everything Wine – River District.