20 April 2010

Steltzner Pinotage with the Casual Connoisseur

Kristin Hanson, a native Californian, is a Napa Valley resident, attorney, writer, artist, and self-described “casual connoisseur” of California wine and food. This year she discovered Pinotage from California's oldest vineyard, Steltzner. Kristin writes in her Casual Connoisseur blog :

Steltzner Vineyards (“Steltzner”), located in the Stag’s Leap District in Napa Valley, is known for producing an excellent Pinotage each year and is one of the few local wineries to do so.

A quality Pinotage is recognized for being medium-bodied and subtly flavored. Steltzner’s 2005 Pinotage accomplishes both of these elements. The 2005 Pinotage presents a nose which has an ever-so-slight floral note of lavender, warm allspice, cherry and an essence of smoke. In the mouth, the wine is a medium-bodied red wine with a smooth feel. The tannins are not overwhelming (nor should they be), which allows the fruit flavors found in the wine to burst forth.

Soft notes of cherry (which is characteristic of grapes from the Stags Leap District), spice and a tiny dash of white pepper dance across the palate. Red wine lovers should readily embrace this Pinotage and wine aficionados who typically wrestle with the overly bold, tannic red wines of Napa Valley should love this wine, too. If the wine’s mere accessibility is not enough, given the characteristics of both the nose and the mouth, it is readily apparent that this Pinotage will pair beautifully with a wide range of foods. In short, the discovery of Pinotage is a giant “win” due to its versatility.

Kristin pairs the Steltzner Pinotage with Honey Lavender Barbequed Chicken and Oven-Roasted Potatoes Au Gratin noting that "just as lavender will sometimes pair well with certain Pinot Noirs, it is equally well-suited to Pinotage".

She concludes with the advice to "explore Pinotage. It is a great red wine that most people can enjoy and if served at a gathering, it is a great conversation piece as most will learn something new".

Read Kristin's full report with recipes and pictures of her recommended dishes at The Casual Connoisseur

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps Kirstin should get Steltzner to send a bottle of this good stuff to Lettie at the WSJ!