The Mosel's Finest, 118 Years of History: Stein “1900”

Posted by Joe Salamone

Stein's 1900 is one of the greatest wines of the Mosel, and no one really knows about it.

This is a wine we’ve obsessed over, coveted and collected since the first vintage (2011). It’s a wine we’ve quietly introduced to a few collectors and fanatics, to near-universal amazement.

The issue has never been quality – this bottle is a profound testament to the depth and magic of really old vines. The issue has been quantity - allocations amount to a few cases.

At $54.95 on the 4-pack, this wine is also a profound testament to the inherent value still possible in Germany.

Here we have a historic site, the second oldest producing Riesling vineyard in the Mosel with just over 1,000 vines planted in the year 1900 (thus the name of the cuvée).

This is a vineyard Ulli Stein tends to like a garden. The wine is fermented in neutral barrel and Stein allows it to find its own balance. Thus we have in 2018 a wine with the density and heft of a Spätlese, yet with only about 20 grams residual sugar, the feel is only delicately off-dry, something like a Feinherb.

What is truly extraordinary about this wine is simply the breadth of what it offers. Allow the wine to unfurl (decanting is a good idea, or just give the bottle a few hours to open) and it is one of the most exotic, perfumed wines of the Mosel; explosively aromatic, crushed flowers and slate, ripe, luscious, glycerin-rich stone fruits, layer after layer like a mille-feuille of apricot, quince and slate.

Yet for all this exoticism, the “1900” always has an uncanny sense of balance. Even in a year like 2018, the small, thick-skinned berries of the old vines, retained acidity and offer the wine not only minerals and rigor, but even a tense, green-resinous grip, something like pine needles ground up with mint. It is wines like this that simply transcend those easy categories we use to organize the world and our experiences.

We’ve provided four-pack pricing to encourage people to try one now and to bury three in the cellar for later. Ulli Stein makes some of the most soulful and intricate Rieslings that we know of. Alfer Hölle 1900 is his magnum opus.

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2018 Stein Alfer Hölle 1900

Special Bottle Price: $59.95

Special 4-Pack Price: $219.80 ($54.95/btl)