Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Steelhead Zinfandel 2006

During errands last weekend I stopped at a market that I visit infrequently because I needed one item and I was close by the market.

As usual I wandered through the wine section and discovered a closeout sale on 2006 Steelhead, a Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel from Quivira Vineyards. 

It's difficult to find a food friendly Zinfandel since the "bigger is better" syndrome took over the varietal.  Zin used to be one of my favorite reds, but the high alcohol and ultra ripeness that is in fashion definitely curtailed my purchases. 

Quivira was one of the first two California wineries where I took more than the perfunctory tourist tour and tasting a number of years ago.  I liked their wine then and have had the occasional bottle since that time.  They've always been good.  When I noticed that the alcohol level was only 13.8% three bottles came home with me at $11 each.

The wine is 86% Zinfandel and 16% a mixture of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignane.  Since there was a steak on hand we opened a bottle last night.  The nose was sharp blackberries and black raspberries and a touch of spice.  The fruit was definitely in force as was the wonderful hint of cracked, black pepper.  Good acid and moderate tannin finished off a wine that was perfect with the steak.  Not a huge wine, and for that I was thankful.  Imminently drinkable and refreshing and affordable at the sale price.

Quivira is less than a mile from two of my other favorite wineries, Rafinelli  and Michel Schlumberger,  so I suppose that makes the intersection of West Dry Creek Road and Wine Creek road just about ground zero for my preference in wine in this part of Sonoma.  Next time I visit that area I'll have to take a picture of the intersection.

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