4 to 6 pm
$5.00 per person
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611 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite #1, Palm Springs, 92264,
This Saturday will be devoted to Steele Winery of Lake County, and the marvelous wines made by Jed Steele, Kendal-Jackson’s former winemaker. Garvey Daniels of American Wines and Spirits will be here to pour and discuss the wine styling of this Lake County winery. Last year, Jed completed his 40th year of winemaking in California and he is still going strong. He was the starting winemaker for Edmeades in the Anderson Valley, and, after 10 years, started Kendal-Jackson where he remained for 9 years; he left the year K-J broke the million cases per year production mark. The winery is located on Highway 29 between Lakeport and Kelseyville, close to Clear Lake, the largest natural lake in California.
2005 Steele Chardonnay, DuPratt Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge
DuPratt is a small mountain vineyard in southwestern Mendocino County at 1200 feet of elevation. This is part of the Mendocino Ridge Appellation where it is the elevation which marks the boundaries rather than other features. Rainfall here can exceed 60 inches per year. Most famous for its 80-year-old Zinfandel vines, DuPratt has five acres of Chardonnay planted in 1983. This is a “mountain” wine in the sense that it has great backbone, acidity and structure. It is always the last Chardonnay to be harvested in any vintage. A mineral quality and long finish frame aromas of pear and citrus.
2006 Steele Chardonnay, Goodchild Vineyard, Santa Barbara Co.
Steele’s entire single vineyard designated Chardonnays are 100% barrel fermented in French Oak barrels. Goodchild Vineyard sits across the Sisquoc River from Bien Nacido and is a few more miles inland. It is a younger vineyard planted on the site of the old Goodchild land grant, which originally occupied thousands of acres on the south side of the river. Being further from the ocean and tucked behind some low hills, it is warmer than Bien Nacido and is harvested a week or so earlier. This wine shows the same tropical fruit aromas and flavors that are typical of Santa Barbara fruit.
2006 Steele Chardonnay, Durell Vineyard, Carneros
Durell Vineyard is in a warmer location as the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains surround it and just at the northern boundary of the Carneros Appellation. This protection makes this vineyard less windy which also helps ripening. The Durell Chardonnay is harvested 10-14 days prior to harvesting the grapes from the famous Sangiacomo Vineyard, though they are only two miles apart. The Durell combines the citrus and pear aromas and is a reserved and austere wine.
2005 Steele Zinfandel “Writer’s Block”, Lake County
A medium to full bodied red wine showing its varietal characters of red fruit, spice, clove, herbal tea, and bramble with approachable aromatics that open quickly in the glass. The aromatics are complex, and move from red fruit to green herb and some bramble. Some toasted oak, to citrus transitions occur fairly quickly. A supple mouth-feel shows bright fruit flavor transitioning into an accentuated finish with bright acidity and some spice. Significant tannins on the finish are texturally good and young. The prolonged after-taste increases as the wine continues to breathe.
2005 Steele Cabernet Franc, Clear Lake
While Steele is not known as a Bordeaux/Cabernet kind of winery (it tends to make more Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel) its location in Lake County allows for the production of several interesting varietals such as Cabernet Franc. When Jed started buying grapes from the vineyard of Floyd Silva he found what he thought was some of the best Cabernet Franc that he had ever tasted. The vineyard is on a gravelly bench, which overlooks the Big Valley area of Lake County. The vines grow well but not too well and have a great balance of flavors, structure and tannins.
2006 Steele Zinfandel, Pacini Vineyard, Mendocino, Old Vine
The Pacini Family planted this vineyard in 1940 on the western foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains in Mendocino County. This beautiful old vineyard is head-pruned as are most Zinfandel vineyards of the era. Steele Wines purchased the vineyard in 1996 from the Pacini Family. Since then they have been refurbishing the vineyard and replacing vines in the positions where the old vines have died back. The limited water supply at this location prevents them from irrigating which, in turn, contributes to the intense flavors and aromas in this Zinfandel.