There is something special about a wine that consistently outshines its peers. Steltzner's "Claret", a Napa Valley Bordeaux blend, is one of those wines. A great pour year in, year out, it is terrific because I can name dozens of more expensive Napa reds that are less enjoyable. So why does Steltzner toil away in obscurity? Alder and I wonder...
The 2005 Steltzner Claret sported dark berry fruit and black pepper on the nose, some cocoa, leather, and an earthy/flinty-ness. Nice fruit, not cloying, with dusty tannins and decent acidity. A lingering finish hints at a few more years in the cave, but drinking very well today. Simple, but flawless, a great pairing with simply prepared veal medallions in a light mushroom sauce.
cork. 14.2% alcohol
Price: C$29 (Opimian)
PS - tasted the 2004 Steltzner Claret last year, and toured the winery in the fall of 2006.