The Best $50 Cabernet (for you old schoolers)? Proceeds to help California Wine Country

11/2/20 -

Sometimes help comes from the strangest quarters. 2020 was one of the most catostrophic fire seasons to hit California with lives upturned and historic wineries literally up in smoke. And when our friends at Vom Boden proposed selling a fantastic old school Cabernet from Ulli Stein, donating the proceeds to wild fire relief, we jumped at the chance. First it is a good cause to help our colleagues out west rebuild their lives. Second, this is 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. This wine is being sold pre-arrival and is non-discountable. Please see Stephen Bitterolf's comments below for details:


The fires that have ripped through California's wine country have been devastating. Yes, we focus mostly on German wine, but we are proud members of the entire wine community.

We wanted to do something, even if it was just a small something.

So we are doing a small, crazy something.

In partnership with Ulli Stein, Piet Stein and Philip Lardot, we are offering the singular (literally) 2017 Stein Mosel Cabernet Sauvignon "vom Berg" with 100% of the profits going to the California Wildfire Relief Fund and the Latino Community Foundation's Wildfire Relief Fund.

$50 for a truly special bottle of Cabernet and all the profits go to help those in Cabernet country. (Note: this is being sold as a pre-arrival bottle - details below!)

Forward this email to everyone you can - post about it on social media. 

Yes, Mosel Cabernet Sauvignon is a curiosity. But this bottle is not just a curiosity. A few cases of this wine came in last winter and sold out quickly, being put on the wine lists of places like Blue Ribbon, Estela and Manhatta. 

A seasoned professional at a very respected New York retailer wrote the following on IG after tasting Stein's Cabernet: "The best $50 Cabernet in New York? For you old schoolers, it might just be." 

This is cool-climate Cabernet, it has lift and bright fruit; it is stern but light on its feet. This is mountain Cabernet; the picture above is Stein's Grand Cru Palmberg, where he planted a small bit of Cabernet in the early 1990s as a joke.

The common thread here is as disturbing as it is relevant, poignant. The same climate change that is affecting California, creating an ever-drier and hotter landscape prone to larger and larger fires has, in the Mosel, turned Stein's "Cabernet joke" into a serious wine.

Obviously we, as a world community, have to do more. But this is a small, crazy something. Please join us and thank you so much.

2017 Stein Cabernet Sauvignon "vom Berg" - $50 a bottle
< this is being sold pre-arrival; we hope to have it here by the end of the year but it may be January until we can deliver the bottles >

"The 2017er Cabernet Sauvignon vom Berg is a Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Merlot (7%) which was fermented and aged in barrique, of which two-third are new, for 22 months before being bottled unfiltered and with a low 30 mg/l of sulfur. It offers a gorgeously engaging nose made of cassis, prune, underbrush, and minty herbs. The wine proves nicely fresh and focused on the elegant palate, and leaves a remarkably elemental feel of cassis, tart mint, and some sweet spices in the long finish. The oak is beautifully integrated and only supports rather than dominates this lively red wine. 2021-2027" Mosel Fine Wine, Issue Number 48

We will split 100% of our profits from these sales between two charities: The California Wildfire Relief Fund which is being administered through the California Community Foundation and targets immediate needs (food, shelter, etc.) as well as medium- and long-term needs. Since 2003 it has given over $24 million in support. Second, The Latino Community Foundation has reactivated their Wildfire Relief Fund to deploy contributions to Latino-led organizations supporting families displaced by the current wildfires across all the state of California.

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