Quincy Steele during Friday night's seminar
Quincy Steele during Friday night’s seminar

Even if no wine was served Friday night, Wine World’s seminar featuring Quncy Steele would have been great. Tasting 10 incredible wines was just icing on the cake.
Steele, son of winemaker Jed Steele, gave interesting insight on the hard work required of winemakers, their quest for new and different ways to make wine and how its more than just a business but a way of life.

Here’s how Wine World described the seminar: “Quincy Steele began working as winemaker with his father Jed Steele a number of years ago. Based in Lake County, California (north of Sonoma & Napa), Steele produces several tiers of wines. The Steele label wines are sourced from some of California’s most highly respected vineyards using the superior for Single Vineyard Selection wines. The lighter lots are used for the Shooting Star label which is also used for some fun wines made from lesser known varietals such as Aligote, Lemberger & Barbera. Writer’s Block wines are a smaller production project which has blossomed into a popular line of rich, ripe affordable wines which get a lot of attention from Quincy. Quincy is also part of Winemakers Anonymous who produce Calvino Jones wines. Quincy will tell you about this exciting project and its name.”
Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC
e-mail: wineworld@wineworldsc.com.
When: Friday, January 29, 2016, 7pm.
Cost: $20 prepaid and $25 at the door if space is available. Reservations suggested as space will be limited.
Here are the wines presented (click to see more):

  1. Steele Shooting Star Aligote
  2. Steele Cuvee Chardonnay
  3. Steele Carneros Pinot Noir
  4. Calvino Jones Pinot Noir 2011
  5. Writer’s Block Malbec 2011
  6. Steele Red Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
  7. Writer’s Block Cabernet Franc 2013
  8. Steele Pacini Zinfandel 2012
  9. Calvino Jones Mountain Elaboration 2010
  10. Steele Stymie Merlot 2010

Here are the detailed wine notes:
Steele Shooting Star Aligote | Washington State
Aligoté is a variety, which is little known but widely planted. It ispopular inEastern Europe with plantings in theUkraine and Moldavia. In France, it is the other white grape in Burgundy, but has always played second fiddle to the noble chardonnay grape. Generally, aligoté is planted in either hilltop or cooler valley locations because it is more cold-tolerant. It has never been planted in any commercial quantity in California, but in Washington State, where cool winters are a fact of life, aligoté has found a happy home. Our aligoté is barrel fermented, but we use older oak barrels rather than the 30% new oak that we typically use for chardonnay. The wine is crisp and clean, a wine with a nice balance of fruit and acidity. Flinty, mineral elements mix with a light floral hint on the nose, followed with the suggestion of tart/sweet apple on the palette, making it a wonderful, versatile food wine.–From their Website
SteeleCuvee Chardonnay | California
Our flagship white wine, California Cuvee Chardonnay, really shows off Jed Steele’s wizardry in blending. As with all great wines, the process begins with the selection of the right vineyards. We have worked with most of the great Chardonnay vineyards in California and have chosen thesesix prestigious properties to obtain the grapes for this wine.
The Cuvee consistently exhibits excellent depth of flavor, wonderful acidity and complex aromas. The Santa Maria vineyards add a tropical fruit character to the wine, flavors and aroma of mango, pineapple, and papaya. The Sonoma vineyards attribute citrus character and acid to the cuvee. The Mendocino vineyard flavor profile leans toward citrus fruit, baked apples and cinnamon. FOOD PAIRING: Halibut with a white wine burre blanc sauce would compliment the complex flavors of the Cuveé Chardonnay any day.–From their Website
Steele Carneros Pinot Noir | Carneros, California
This vineyard, given its coastal influence, produces a wine with bright strawberry and cherry flavors, balanced with hints of tea andcola. Our approach for Carneros Pinot Noir has always been to produce a classically-styled “pinot-lover’s pinot”, with moderate oak, high-tone fruit flavors, a rich nose, juicy palate and long finish. FOOD PAIRING: A favorite pairing forthis wineis a wild mushroom risotto, or a cheese plate as this Pinot will pair nicely with a wide variety of cheeses. Try with a creamy Blue, a mature Gouda, or a nice Gruyere.–From their Website
Calvino Jones Pinot Noir | California
We aren’t sure which Pinot they will be tasting. There are 4 Pinot Noirs under the Calvino label, Anderson Valley, Donnelly Creek, Joshua Vineyard and Primo’s Hill. Where does the name Calvino Jones come from? Check out their website for the answer. –From their Website

Writer’s Block Cabernet Franc | California
This Cabernet Franc has complex aromas of fresh dark berries, black cherry, plum, and a subtle brambly profile. Tobacco, chocolate, some herbal complexities work with a floral component framed by toasted oak. We age the wine for 14 months in French and Hungarian oak,
20% new. This Cabernet Franc has a wonderful depth of flavor. FOOD PAIRINGS: This wine pairs well with pork and chicken dishes with various spices, curries, and the judicious use of ginger.–From their Website Website
Writer’s Block Malbec | Red Hills (Lake County), California
Aged in French and Hungarian and American oak, equal parts although only 15% new, allow the depth of red and dark berry fruit, spice, and pleasant earthy complexities to remain focused. At the end of barrel aging small percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon are blended into this Malbec to dial its balance. Extremely versatile food wine, pairs well with most grilled meats and grilled vegetable preparations. Website
Steele Pacini Zinfandel | Mendocino County, California
The Pacini Family planted this vineyardcirca 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 1998 from the Pacini Family. Since then we have been refurbishing the vineyard and replacing vines in the positions where the old vines have died. The location of the vineyard prevents us from irrigating or frost protecting due to the limited water supply. This provides for the intense flavors and aromas in this low yielding Zinfandel. We keep the temperatures on our fermentations moderate to develop the color and flavors inherent in this wine. We age the Pacini Vineyard Zinfandel in American oak barrels for 12 months. The nose is full of ripe cherry and blueberry with undertones of toasted hazelnut and vanilla. The palate is full of ripe wild berries, spice, and cherry cola, with dusty cocoa and light tannin on the finish. The wine has great structure, and is well balanced. FOOD PAIRING: We recommend you enjoy this wine with BBQ , roast duck, lamb chops, and cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano, aged Gouda or a dry jack.–From their Website
Steele Red Hill Cabernet Sauvignon | Red Hills (Lake County), California
The grapes are pressed to stainless steel tank and undergo 2-3 week fermentation with an extended maceration to extract every ounce of flavor. This wine is then laid down in a combination of French and French and American hybrid oak barrels to age for a year and a half before bottling. This wine has a rich, fruit-forward elegance. A spicy fruit and berry core backed up by soft tannins makes it a nice glass of wine for casual sipping among friends. FOOD PAIRINGS: This Cabernet Sauvignon would go down wonderfully with a spice-rubbed rib eye steak or rack of lamb.–From their Website
Calvino Jones Mountain Elaboration | California
This type of wine style is entirely defined by the appellation, the vintage, and the blenders. After releasing our previous blend, and being very happy with its development in bottle, to still be a youthful wine worthy of decanting, we didn’t want to stray far from that model. The vintage produced wines slightly less tannic, more fresh and acidicly balanced across the board, so this wine exhibits that profile. The fruit remains complex, at its heart darker berry fruit, whereas this vintage shows more transition into the mid range of raspberry and darker cherries. Weopted for a slightly smaller percentage of Petit Verdot, still the core of the wine, and ended up adding a little bit of Grenache and Malbec, albeit from a different vineyard this year. We also aged this release longer in barrel. a blend of Cana Springs Syrah (25%); Shannon Ridge Petit Sirah (16%) Grenache (4%) Mourvedre (4%) and Cabernet (3%); Snow’s Lake Petit Verdot (14%) Malbec (7%) and Tempranillo (3%); Obsidian Ridge Syrah (8%) and Cabernet (3%); Poseidon Pinot Noir (4%); Silva Merlot (3%); and Duncanshine Zinfandel (2%). These notes are from their 2010 release. Not sure which vintage they will be bringing but they don’t seem to be messing around. –From their Website

Steele Stymie Merlot | California
Stymie was a famous racehorse in mid-twentieth century American history. Stymie was known for never giving up the lead when he gained it. He wasnotorious for this, in fact, that the horse callers brought the word back into the English vernacular by calling out “They’ve been stymied again!!” whenever he pulled ahead. In 1950 Jed’s father, a newspaperman, wagered a bet on Stymie that paid off well. So well, in fact, that the winnings financed the Steele family’s move from New York City to San Francisco. As a tribute to the horse and to Jed’s father, our Stymie label is reserved for rare, small production wines of the highest quality we produce.
Stymie Bench Vineyardtypically yields a Merlot with a rich, deep red color and firm body, exhibiting aromas of chocolate, jammy fruit, tobacco and pepper. The palate reveals a rich, well-structured wine with layers of ripe red currants, anise, chocolate-covered cherries, a peppery mid-palate, and just a hint of coffee. This high-quality fruit produces an excellent, long-lasting finish and smooth tannins. It’s a perfect “special occasion” wine and pairs well with big hearty foods. Exceptional with any full-flavored dish, such as any preparation of lamb or beef, steaks, grilled venison chops or ragout. You will be missing out if you don’t try this Merlot with chocolate.–From their Website


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