2017 Catfish Vineyard Lake County Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Catfish Vineyard
California: Lake County
If you aren’t on board the Steele train by now, here’s a rock bottom, bargain-basement fare to a total jam fest.
Jam fest you say?
Yes, as in way tastier than the Mountain Jam music festival in upstate NY. It also smells way better than a roaming pack of unwashed Wookies. Tastes better, too. Wait, what?
Nevermind that. You know what’s the best part though? Just SIXTEEN dollars! That’s like the price of two gallons of gas here in California. In other words, the value here is completely OFF. THE. METER.
Jed Steele is a legend, who’s been making kickass wines in Sonoma County since 1968. He spent time in the cellar at Stony Hill early on, before spending nine years helping Kendall Jackson grow into the force it is today. Today he’s committed to small winemaking craftsmanship, focusing on small lots (usually under 1,000 cases). Robert Parker says, *“his wines possess great fruit, excellent to outstanding richness, and superb purity and focus.”
Mr. Parker nailed it. This righteous Zin owes its fantastic richness and complexity from the Catfish Vineyard. Originally planted in 1901 (!), it contains mostly Zinfandel but also a scattering of Cabernet, Alicante, Cinsault, Carignan. In other words, a field blend - some of which find their way in here in small amounts. Another curious fact - it spent 12 months in hybrid barrels with alternating staves of French and American oak. That lends a terrific layer of sweet oak and vanillin to the final product.
And the final product is INTENSE. Think of it like a “hero’s dose” of fruit without the eight-hour ego dissolving journey into the abyss. Ripe red currants, blackberry jam, red cherries, baked plums, and mulled spices. A pleasure-filled journey that reels you back in sip after sip, until the last drop.
Zinfandel, of this quality, for this price… you know the drill by now.
90 points – Wine Enthusiast
“This is hearty wine shapes blackberry and black-pepper flavors with moderate tannins and a full body that are attractively mouthfilling. Hints of vanilla, clove and cedar add extra interest and a lingering finish.”
Deep ruby red with a purple glow to the narrow circumference
Ripe red currants, blackberry jam, red cherries, baked plums, and mulled spices
INTENSE like a “hero’s dose” of fruit without the eight-hour ego dissolving journey into the abyss
A pleasure-filled journey that reels you back in sip after sip, until the last drop
All-day smoked rack of ribs brushed liberally with the tangiest BBQ sauce this earth has seen
What the Winery Says
- Jed Steele
- 90% Zinfandel, 10% Carignan, Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Cinsault
- Lake County
- Catfish Vineyard
- Vine age
- 75 years average
- Total acidity
- 6.3 g/L
- Residual sugar
- 0.06 g/L
- 2-3 tons/acre
- 12 months
- 30% new French and American hybrid oak