Blue Franc (Blaufrankisch)
REGION: US: Washington: Yakima Valley
AVERAGE RETAIL: $15
What they say about it:
“This wine is very similar to the wines that I tasted in Austria more than 25 years ago. Unlike other Steele and Shooting Star red wine bottlings, our Blue Franc receives little, or no, oak aging. Some liken our Blue Franc, depending on vintage, to Pinot Noir in lighter years and Zinfandel in the riper vintages. Sometimes it is totally akin to a top-flight Gamay from Beaujolais. The wine is clean, crisp, and unpretentious with tons of fruit, including warm berry pie, complementing the traces of pepper, almond, cherry and cinnamon. Our Shooting Star Blue Franc has soft tannins, medium body, great color and is the perfect red wine to enjoy over the summer with any festive occasion. It is excellent with appetizers, cheeses, BBQ, and picnics. Recently we had the opportunity to try the Blue Franc on the deck with a toasted sandwich of smoked chicken, grilled onion, and avocado a quintessentially quaffable! -Jed Steele”
What I say about it:
Steele Chardonnay was one of the first wines I was introduced to by Russ Martin, a former co-worker and major wine aficionado, who gave me my earliest impressions that wine could be something more than just something to drink. Since then I have become a fan of Steele Wineries and Jed Steele. The “Shooting Star” Blue Franc is very unique and a wine you should try if you can.
So out of the bottle and into the glass….
The color of the wine is a deep rich purple. Clean and clear to the rim with long legs in the glass. The nose of the wine is full of blueberries and blackberries with a touch of cocoa, pepper, slight oak with clove. The taste is packed full of cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries. A little bit of pepper, oak and a bit of a cinnamon, licorice / anise aftertaste. The finish is velvety smooth and lingers with soft tannins. It’s very rich and well balanced. Overall it’s a very well developed wine at an exceptional value. I’d agree with the comparison to Pinot Noir or Gamay and if you are a fan of either, I urge you to find a bottle.
For pairings, I would suggest Blue cheese, Gorgonzola, and Sharp Cheddar, dark chocolate, red meats and really just about anything.
Would Bukowski drink it? “Dave, look at that Shooting Star!” Bukowski then, while I am distracted, steals the bottle and chugs it down. “I think you have my answer.”
Overall Rating: 5 BUKS