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Masterpieces from Ulli Stein


It feels like we have been all over the solar system with Dr. Ulrich Stein. We have taken you to Jupiter with his bone-crushing 1900, made from ancient un-grafted vines. We took you to the Sun and opened up his highly sought-after rose. We even took you into the asteroid belt and found his Cabernet Sauvignon, of all things.

Today, we want to bring you back to Earth, and focus on the simple pleasures of life. Among all the wonders in his offerings, Ulli produces two gems that are under $20 (at least for this week), and they are easily among our top choices for every-day white wine drinking this summer.

“Blauschiefer” means blue slate, and it is the material that lies under many vineyards of the Mosel, producing its special magic. Blue slate is usually associated with the Mosel’s trademark combination of sweet peach and minerality, but Dr. Stein picks the grapes for this wine on the early side and then allows it to ferment dry. As a result, the peach veers towards pear, and the sweetness is replaced with a crispness that will do wonders for your palate in this hot weather.

Many of us, though, enjoy our Riesling with at least a touch of sugar. If you’ve ever had a cocktail on a tropical island, you’ll have noticed that a little sweetness has no problem at all dealing with hot weather, and it probably helps. “Weihwasser” means “holy water”, and indeed Riesling is such a magical grape that even hardcore atheists have been tempted to associate it with the divine. This holy water comes from the incredibly steep slopes of the Lower Mosel.

How Ulli is able to work this incredibly difficult terroir and still produce such an inexpensive wine is one of the wine world’s mysteries. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether you prefer dry or slightly off-dry this summer. Probably, you’ll want both at some point. Either way, this is definitely fill-up-your-fridge wine.