Grapelive: Wine of the Day January 22, 2017

2014MolitorPN2014 Weingut Karl-Johann Molitor, Pinot Noir Trocken, Assmannshauser Hollenberg, Rheingau Germany.
Based in the upper Rheingau in the town of Hattenheim, the family estate of Karl-Johann Molitor is an old school winery, small, hard working with no pretensions and their wines are simple hand crafted examples of the region, these are the wines you see in the wine fairs and local bistros, offering solid value and ease of use, that said, the Assmannshauser Hollenberg Spatburgunder is a really lovely and pretty wine from one of the greatest Pinot Noir vineyards you’ll ever find. You would have to search your entire life to find a red Burgundy of this class at this price, I doubt it exists to be honest, above the town of Assmannshausen on the northern bank of the Rhine the steeply sloped south facing slate hillside of Hollenberg sits, it is a glorious vineyard to see in person, on my two visits there I was left in awe of it’s beauty and majestic terroir, this is a special place. Interestingly, it is not as hailed as it should be, this is because not all the growers and producers work in harmony and there seems to be none of that German structure in place ensuring it’s promotion and quality throughout, but there are some amazing wines that come from here, one of the best Pinot Noirs I’ve ever had was August Kesseler’s Hollenberg and Johannes Leitz’s new Hollenberg is very exciting as well. So it was fun to find this Assmannshauser Hollenberg dry Pinot Noir from Karl-Johann Molitor, and happily surprised that their 2014 vintage is showing so well, it is bright and spicy with plenty of fruit detail, structure and graceful textures featuring a nose of floral tones, flinty spice, mineral and blue fruits. The palate reveals itself with black cherry, blueberry, wild plum and sweet strawberry fruits, a touch of briar, liquid violets, salty stones, plus a hint of smoke and marmalade. Lingers with rosewater, juicy raspberry and tart currant, and while light and easy overall, you can’t beat the price, delicacy and pedigree, it’s a fine gateway into the world of German Pinots.
($16 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive