Markus Molitor Debuts Inaugural Rieslings from Domäne Serrig


After having purchased the former royal Prussian state domain in the Saar Valley in 2016, German star winemaker and Riesling supremo Markus Molitor now debuts the first two wines from the restored and re-planted Serriger Vogelsang vineyard, one dry Riesling, one Kabinett.

Both wines are from the 2020 vintage and will be sold and distributed under the Domäne Serrig label via the Place de Bordeaux. This is an unusual move for Molitor, who is fond of vinifying countless small lots of dry, off-dry and sweet wines from his numerous plots in Mosel and Saar. The 25-hectare monopole site in the village of Serrig prompted the decision to make meaningful quantities of two key and historic styles of German wine: one dry Riesling and one Kabinett-style Riesling. Eight thousand bottles of each wine will be released with minimum retail prices of EUR 200.00 for the dry Grosse Lage wine and EUR 100.00 for the Kabinett. The exact release date, most likely in mid-to-late October, has not yet been announced. Further bottles will be held back for the estate’s treasury and library releases as well as for cellar-door sales at the domain, which will be open to the public once the building renovations are completed.

“It was, in fact, a unique opportunity to purchase a contiguous 25-hectare site of unique quality,” Molitor says about his ongoing restoration project. “Never before in the history of the Mosel region, even better, in that of German viticulture, has there been such an opportunity to purchase such a sizeable monopole site possessing all the best attributes of a grand cru.” Since 2017, 20 hectares of the 25-hectare monopole site in the village of Serrig were re-planted with Molitor’s own massal Riesling selections, with the first vintage made in 2017. Dry Riesling was made in 2017, 2018 and 2019; in 2020, both a dry Riesling and a Kabinett were made – these two wines from the 2020 vintage are the first to be released.

Paradigms of Style - The two Inaugural Rieslings from Domäne Serrig by Markus Molitor.

The vineyard rises steeply from 150 to 340 meters on slate soils. “The cool climate in this classic steep slate slope allows for a long vegetation period that brings forth wines of moderate alcohol levels between 10 and 12% and aromatic abundance. This combination of lightness and animation, paired with expressive, almost salty minerality, is unique and inimitable,” Molitor says. “Domäne Serrig now establishes itself as an international top estate, completely separate from Weingut Markus Molitor,” he explains. “As such, there was no established domestic market for the distribution of these wines. It was thus indispensable to work with an international distribution system that is known as the best in the world.”

The historic domaine building, constructed between 1904 and 1912, has also been renovated, with completion envisioned for the coming year. So far, the wines, fermented spontaneously and aged on lees in large wooden barrels, were made in the Molitor winery in Wehlen. Future vintages will be made in the renovated domaine as soon as possible. Domäne Serrig was one of several Royal Prussian State domaines and the most modern and progressive of the three domaines in the Mosel region. These were state-funded wineries established as model estates for best practice with an official remit to research and improve both viticulture and oenology. Domäne Serrig, for instance, boasted several kilometers of railway through its steep vineyard to facilitate harvest, and the entire winery building was designed according to the principles of gravity. Rather than take over existing vineyards, the Prussian state domains often identified suitable, south-facing slopes, which were then cleared and turned into vineyards.

Prussian state domaines existed in Rheingau, Mosel and Nahe – and while the Kloster Eberbach with its outpost in Assmannshausen is still owned and operated by the German federal state of Hessia, the former state domain in Niederhausen in the Nahe has experienced a complete revival in private hands as Gut Hermannsberg. Domäne Serrig was privatised in the 1990s. Molitor has a clear vision for his takeover and revival of the domain in Serrig. “It is our mission to contribute to the renaissance of Saar wines,” he says. “In doing so, we focus on the DNA of the Saar Valley: great dry wines and filigree, finely fruited Kabinett – two wines from the incomparable terroir of the Serriger Vogelsang.” Both wines fit into this envisioned historical paradigm that made the region famous, uniting unbelievable light-footedness, full-flavored depth, Riesling freshness and absolute age-ability. While the Grosse Lage is a resolutely dry wine, the Kabinett style should be an eye-opener for many who hitherto shunned this category.

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