Wednesday, April 09, 2008

2005 Steltzner Claret (Old Reliable)

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
Score: 16/20
Price: C$29 (Opimian)

PS - tasted the 2004 Steltzner Claret last year, and toured the winery in the fall of 2006.


Shea said...

I tried this a couple years ago. Pretty good stuff. I've often been impressed with some of the lesser known Napa producers. I'd highly recommend checking out some Zhatilla zinfandels. Good stuff at a good price.

Joe said...

Hi Shea - I am a big fan of Steltzner and have written about them extensively. I will look for that Zhatilla when I am back in the States - thanks for the recommendation!

Shea said...

Cool. I just realized I mispelled the winery. It's actually Zahtila. They are in northern Napa.

Joe said...