Soulful iconoclast Ulli Stein in the vines.

Stein Cabernet Sauvignon

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"The best $50 Cabernet in New York? For you old-schoolers, it might just be." We made this bold statement two years ago after being shown one of the most compelling Cabernet Sauvingons we've tasted in years. It has the black currant, cedarwood, bright acidity, fine mineral character of the old California Cabernets we cut our teeth on before the wine critic-driven ripeness and new oak arms race.

It still seems like the beginning to an odd wine story—but it’s 100% true. What happens when a soulful Mosel iconoclast plants Cabernet Sauvignon out of curiosity (not to mention thumbing his nose at the wine authorities) and a warming climate results in a beautiful wine? Well, I’m here to report for the second vintage in a row, we have a wine that will set both old school Cali Cab lovers and German wine nerds hearts aflutter. It’s the return of legitimately savory, fresh, mineral Cabernet. Boasting a just purple (not inky, thank you very much!) robe and a civilized 13.5% abv., this wine is clearly intended for the table. The nose is awash with aromas of black currant, hedge fruit, cigar box (oh, that cedar!), wet slate, and just a whiff of green olive. The palate is racy and herbaceous—but by no means lean—offering a pinpoint balance between sapid underbrush and stony notes and cool-toned blue and black fruit flavors with ripe tannins and mouthwatering acidity. And far from seeming austere, this shows great persistence and élan on a long and startlingly mineral finish. Nothing shouts or brags here, but as with most of Ulli’s wines there’s an extra dimension at play that surprises and delights, but also inspires an emotional response. That this frisson is tied to a Mosel Cabernet of all things is unexpected, but for Stein somehow completely in character. Lovely stuff and for folks who revel in iconoclasm and traditional (pre-90s) Cabernet, essential.

Also on offer today is the 2020 iteration of the Alfer Hölle Riesling 1900 from a small parcel of vines planted in 1900 and thought to be the second oldest vines in the Mosel. This year's model is delicately off-dry and filigreed, a Spätlese-Feiherb if you want to categorize it. Year after year Alfer Hölle 1900 startles us with its combination of soaring aromatics, old vine concentration, and seeming weightlessness. A truly magical wine from a special place. John McIlwain

Wines arrive Wednesday, 11/10.

 

Stein, Ulli 2018 Mosel Cabernet Sauvignon 'vom Berg'

It still seems like the beginning to an odd wine story—but it’s 100% true—what happens when a soulful Mosel iconoclast plants Cabernet Sauvignon out of curiosity (not to mention thumbing his nose at the wine authorities) and a warming climate results in a beautiful wine? Well, I’m here to report for the second vintage in a row, we have a wine that will set both old school Cali Cab lovers and German wine nerds hearts aflutter. It’s the return of legitimately savory, fresh, mineral Cabernet. Boasting a just purple (not inky, thank you very much!) robe and a civilized 13.5% abv., this wine is clearly intended for the table. The nose is awash with aromas of black currant, hedge fruit, cigar box (oh, that cedar!), wet slate, and just a whiff of green olive. The palate is racy and herbaceous—but by no means lean—offering a pinpoint balance between sapid underbrush and stony notes and cool-toned blue and black fruit flavors with ripe tannins and mouthwatering acidity. And far from seeming austere, this shows great persistence and élan on a long and startlingly mineral finish. Nothing shouts or brags here, but as with most of Ulli’s wines there’s an extra dimension at play that surprises and delights, but also inspires an emotional response. That this frisson is tied to a Mosel Cabernet of all things is unexpected, but for Stein somehow completely in character. Lovely stuff and for folks who revel in iconoclasm and traditional (pre-90s) Cabernet, essential. John McIlwain

  • red
  • 13 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Stein 2020 Mosel Alfer Hölle Riesling Spätlese 1900

The Alfer Hölle Riesling 1900 comes from a small parcel of about 1000 vines planted in 1900 and thought to be the second oldest vines in the Mosel. This year's model is delicately off-dry and filigreed, a Spätlese-Feiherb, if you want to categorize it. Year after year Alfer Hölle 1900 startles us with its combination of soaring aromatics, old vine concentration, and seeming weightlessness. A truly magical wine from a special place.

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic