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offer 097

Max Kilburg
Ohligsberg Pinot Noir
the present-future Mosel,part 1

{ The Mosel is learning a new language. }
sold out

2021 Max Kilburg Pinot Noir Ohligsberg Grand Cru 
* U.S. Premiere *

And that language is Pinot Noir.

We've written about this a lot. It is an improbable fact that Mosel Pinot Noir has been a thread through nearly four years of offers here at Source Material.

Offer 005 introduced the U.S. to the groundbreaking Mosel Pinot Noirs of Daniel Twardowski, the first estate in the Mosel in over 100 years to focus solely on red wines. Offer 014 introduced the wines of Jonas Dostert, including one of the most formidable Pinot Noirs of the Mosel, singularly grown on limestone. Offer 018 featured a Pinot Noir rosé from the Saar estate Hofgut Falkenstein. Offer 072 focused on Stein's profound Mosel Pinot Noirs; our last offer featured Stein's protégé Philip Lardot and his ethereal take on this grape. 

For this offer we begin a new chapter with the single-vineyard Ohligsberg Pinot Noir from the young Max Kilburg.  

We first introduced Kilburg to the U.S. in the spring of 2021 and in the following three years he has quickly become one of the most coveted growers from the Mosel; there is already a brisk business in Kilburg's wines by all the secondary market traders who follow not the wine, but the money.

The signature of a Kilburg Riesling is the energy, the gloss, the looking-glass clarity to the minerality, the buoyancy that makes them feel not only weightless, but even explosive or better,  expansive.

Both his Kabinetts and his Grand Cru dry Rieslings deserve the strong following they have.

Kilburg's Pinot Noir - the first time this bottle has been offered in the U.S. - represents in a way something very familiar to him as well as something very foreign. The comparisons between Riesling and Pinot Noir are so common they are almost clichéd. There is a similar delicacy, a similar transparency. Many have called Pinot Noir the "red Riesling," though in my tastings, to be honest, Pinot Noir rarely achieves the elegance of Riesling... though it's possible I'm slightly biased.

All this to say Kilburg's Pinot Noir is different. While Max has been working with Pinot Noir his entire life - in fact the parcel of Pinot Noir in the Ohligsberg was planted first by his father in the mid-1980s - he is still finding his style. He is a huge fan of Fourrier, with the estate's ability to combine a certain elegance with a textural, generous fruit. He's also, of course, very interested in the Mosel Pinot Noirs of his mentor, Julian Haart, as well as those of Daniel Twardowski.

In 2021 Kilburg made only two barrels of Pinot Noir. This was a cool vintage and so ripening the Pinot Noir was not easy. He completely destemmed the fruit (again because of the cool vintage), but did a longer maceration to give the wine more texture and depth.

Indeed, this is not a shy Pinot Noir.

While it has that signature cool-climate compactness, a certain arrow-like cut on the palate, there is plenty of material here, with an expansive mid-palate of dark fruit, black cherry, even cassis all edged by an intricate layer of spice, from thyme to sandalwood and smoke. There is plenty of structure here as well, with powerful tannins that provide plenty of grip. With a good decant, this will be a pleasure to drink on release, though this is a wine that will age 5 to 10 years and longer, with some ease.

With this offer, the story of Mosel Pinot Noir only gets deeper.

This offer is now closed. If you need help finding the wines please email

Stephen and Robert

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