Steele “Shooting Star” Blue Franc (2011)


20141114_191311Steele “Shooting Star” 

Blue Franc (Blaufrankisch)

YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: Washington: Yakima Valley


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



Corvidae “The Keeper” Cabernet Franc (2012)


20141112_204035Corvidae “The Keeper” 

Cabernet Franc

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: Washington State: Columbia Valley


What they say about it:

“The Keeper is an incredible value; it’s plush and full-bodied, and is approachable now but will age beautifully. Perfectly ripened grapes give this wine notes of savory spices, cigar box and black fruits. On the palate, a rich mouthful of blackberry, cassis and black tea commingle with a velvety, luscious mouthfeel and a long, generous finish.”

What I say about it:

Keeping with my Fall related wine picks, I stumbled on “The Keeper” from Corvidae with it’s bold label featuring a red eyed raven and had to give it a try. I don’t drink Cabernet Franc that often. No particular reason why and after trying “The Keeper” I need to try more.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….

“The Keeper” is a big lush wine with a garnet to plum color. Short legs in the glass but very bright and clean. The nose is full of fruit, cherries, blackberries with a smoky note and spice, particularly clove with some oak. The taste is equally big and full of plums, Bing Cherries, fresh ripe fruit with slight oak. I also noted a slight peat, moss and earthiness with some cocoa. The finish is very long and there is a lingering velvety quality. Very soft and well balanced fruit. Complex yet clean.

“The Keeper” will match great with Chevre and other goat cheeses as well as Aged Gouda and Parmesan, and a sweet Gorgonzola. For heartier meals, this will go well with red meats, especially any grilled, salmon, and even Mexican.

Would Bukowski drink it? It’s all in a name, and this one’s a Keeper for sure

Overall Rating: 4 BUKS