Winemakers Dr. Ulrich Stein (known by most as Ulli) and Philip Lardot farm 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 important: 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. Winemaking with Ulli is refreshingly light on “style” 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. Cut is more important than size. Because of his belief in the importance of old vines, the family never grafted to phylloxera-resistant rootstock in the 1970s 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. In 2016 the young Philip Lardot moved to the Mosel and was taken in by Ulli. Philip found a mentor and a deep connection to the Mosel in Ulli Stein; meanwhile, Ulli found just the right person to carry the torch at this curious estate.
The rosé trocken from Stein is a yearly favorite of ours, and the 2021 vintage is no exception. Made of approximately 80% pinot noir and a blend of cabernet and merlot, it’s a great representation of the “house style” at Stein: the wine is clean, bright, and focused, with minerality and acidity shining through. Flavors of fresh cherry, raspberry, and orange zest abound, and at only 10.5% ABV, it’s definitely a bottle you can enjoy a few pours of while soaking up the rays.
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