The Mosel's Radical Vocabulary - Stein Ohne: 2011 Sekt and 2014 Riesling

Posted by Joe Salamone

“Ohne” means “without” in German. They are Ulli Stein's studies in minimalism.

Stein is one of the most curious, passionate and inspiring growers in the Mosel. The "Ohne" release reveals yet another fascinating dimension of Stein.

The wines are textural, evocative, shockingly fresh and… delicious.

The whole “Ohne” project was inspired by a bottle of Overnoy, brought to Stein many years ago. The lion's share of the first release went to Noma. The small amount that found its way to us quickly developed a huge following. People would buy a bottle to check it out and then, come back for 4 or 6 bottles. That goes a long way in explaining the depth, mystery and uniqueness that it delivers.

The 2011 Sekt is a méthode-Champenoise sparkling wine with over five years of aging, between barrel and bottle. This is Riesling hand-harvested from slate soils, and the dark minerality and stoniness points to its origin. Still, the wine has a weight and richness that feels almost more like a Blanc de Noirs, with a rich, savory, saline mid-palate, buoyed and brightened by citrus and a beautiful, green-herbal freshness.

The 2014 “Ohne” (non-sparkling) is a dry Riesling with enormous mineral complexity. It combines a nuanced depth with stern acidity. The wine is fermented for nearly three years in a very old Mosel Fuder (1,000L barrel) all on the gross lees. As such, the wine is textural and powerful, showing profound minerality, a core of stone and slate edged by savory notes, freshly baked bread, beautiful herbs and a driving acid-saturated finish.

Both of these wines are testaments to the possibilities of Mosel Riesling. These are wines that cause a radical rethinking of the entire category. Quantities are very limited.

Please email or call the store at (212) 980-9463 to order.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits