Delicious fruit flavors, subtle spices and a generous mouthfeel come together in this full-bodied, luxurious wine. It has a mouth-filling texture due to lots of fine-grained tannins, very ripe and pure black-cherry flavors and excellent concentration that helps extend the finish.
Barbera is one of the foundation grapes of the Piedmont region in Italy and has a history in California spanning over 100 years. The bright fruit, hinting of plums, lively spiciness and crisp acidity make this an extremely versatile food wine. The grapes for our Barbera are sourced from two vineyards. The Dorn vineyard is located a few miles away from the winery on a gravelly bench overlooking the Big Valley of Clear Lake. The other Barbera source is the Shannon Ridge Vineyard located in the High Valley appellation on the northeast side of Clear Lake.
The grapes were fermented in small lots for 7 to 10 days. The cap of grape skins is punched down by hand two to three times per day, and aged in neutral American and Hungarian oak for 9 months before bottling.
Enjoy Barbera with roasted pork, braised lamb shanks, sausage and lentils, or your favorite pizza pie.
Appellation: Lake County, CA
Barrel Regime: 10 months in American and Hungarian
It’s all about minimalism. At Steele we use standard, non-GMO yeasts, natural fermentations, and no extra additives or enzymes. During fermentation we gently pumpover, use inert gas to move the finished wines, and use gravity flow as much as possible. All of this ensures that we don’t bruise the wine during its time in the cellar, which helps retain fresh aromas and flavors in the finished wines. From handpicking grapes to gentle processing and bottling in our own facility, we make sure our grapes are cared for from vineyard to bottle. It’s all about a light hand in the winemaking to better highlight the aromas and flavors of the quality fruit we crush.
The grapes we source for the Steele label also supply the Shooting Star label. The Shooting Star wines are more reminiscent of specific appellations and uncommon varietals. They are fermented in stainless steel or aged in oak for a shorter period of time and should be enjoyed while young. The Steele label wines are single vineyard designates or specific vineyard blends that age in oak for a longer period of time and are meant to drink soon, but will age up to eight to ten years with proper cellaring.
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I used to buy a ton of Steele wines. Showing my age, way back in the day there used to be an industry Halloween party in Chicago. (I worked for a buddy who had a small retail shop) Also we used to drink a ton of Silver Oak cabs. Me being a cork saver my wife made a dress entirely of Silver Oak corks glued to it and went as a Silver Oak cork. Jed Steele was there. She won a prize for her costume and her prize was Jed signing a magnum of his chardonnay. Still have the empty somewhere.
Winery website mentions a bit of new oak, the blurb above mentions all neutral. fwiw
The grapes were fermented in small lots for 7 to 10 days, with the cap of grape skins punched down by hand two or three times per day into the underlying juice to extract the deep red colors of the berry. Jed likes to emphasize the fruit character of the wine, so it is aged in mostly neutral (older) oak barrels, with some new American and Hungarian oak barrels used to extract a just hint of oak flavor.
@kaolis I’m happy to share if you want some. Or just order two cases. I can ship to FL and then bring it back the next time I visit – or one of them visits me. It might be a wee bit longer than the ship date, but within 2 or 3 weeks.
BUT… Barbera can be finicky. Some are too acidic for me. So I would love to hear some rattage on this one first.
And I totally want photo evidence of the cork costume. Ha!
@veevandyk For pics I think I have to go through boxes of actual photographs. Anyone remember those? It was one heavy costume, and even though it was Halloween she was the talk of the train car we were on
From Wine Enthusiast:
87 Points Shooting Star 2017 Barbera (Lake County)
Soft, smooth and uncomplicated, this fruity, juicy, fresh-tasting wine is easy to sip and appreciate. Blackberry and raspberry flavors are buoyed by a bit of acidity for good balance despite elevated alcohol. JG 7/1/20
And from Apstein (who??):
Barbera is a workhorse grape from Piedmont that has been grown in California for at least a century. Unlike Piedmont versions, which often have a briary character with invigorating acidity, this one delivers juicy red fruit flavors and finishes slightly sweet. It would be a good choice to offset the spice of a pepperoni pizza.
87 Michael Apstein Jan 14, 2020
and from Terroirist (rings a bell):
Deep purple color. Smells like plum cake, cola, coffee, anise cookie and dark chocolate. Full-bodied and rich, smooth, light tannins, yet the moderate acidity adds a nice, needed freshness, and the wine is surprisingly balanced. Plums, black cherries, roasted figs, mixed with coffee, earth, anise and chocolate notes. A big wine, but well-made. From the Dorn Vineyard, aged in old American and Hungarian oak for nine months. A lot of quality and value here. (88 points IJB) 1/25/20
Yes - check your email. I didn’t and was perplexed/pleasantly surprised to find 3 Catfish Zins in my 6-pack. If I’d have known there would be Zins in here I would’ve gone for a case!
The email has a $10 coupon for our troubles.