winemakers: Dr. Ulrich Stein and Philip Lardot practicing organic | certain wines non-filtré and low S02
appellation: Lower Mosel (yet not Terrassen Mosel)
village: Alf and St. Aldegundmain vineyard(s): Alfer Hölle, St. Aldegunder Palmberg, and Himmelreich
summary:Ulli (and now his young protégéPhilip Lardot) farms meaningful parcels of land that have a few important things in common: They are not easy to work. They are commercially unknown and therefore (most likely) barely financially viable. Finally, and most importantly: Ulli has to love them. Stein is more than a winemaker –he is a passionate advocate for the traditional, steep, slate vineyards of the Mosel. In 2010 Ulli published a manifesto warning of the threats to the region’s 2000-year-old viticultural tradition.
It’s perhaps difficult to speak of an overarching “style” at Stein; or maybe it’s that the word, the concept, just doesn’t feel right. Winemaking with Ulli is refreshingly light on “style,” on some idea projected into the vineyards, and more about what the vineyards say to him. Certainly there is a focus on wines that are dry; lightness and zip are more important than gobs of fruit. Complexity is good, but not at the expense of the whole –better to be simple and well done than overdone and, well, a mess. Cut is more important than size. One last note of importance, due to his belief in the importance of old vines the family never grafted to phylloxera-resistant rootstock in the 70s when this practice was the norm. So Ulli now has a profound collection of ungrafted vines, farming around 10% of the ungrafted vines in all of Germany.
size: 6.5 hectares
key grape varieties:Riesling, Pinot Noir along with some Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese
vine age: 60+yo vines for basic wines; Palmberghas 60-90
The “Ohne”(meaning “without”in German)wines have no S02addedare not filtered and spend longer time on the lees
Zero S02 Riesling; extended élevage in old barrels; méthode traditionelle, no dosage, single vinta..
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