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Steltzner Claret 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Our first release from the 2006 vintage showcases the wonderful fruit from our Stag's Leap District vineyards in the heart of the Napa Valley. Core dark fruit aromas of plums and black cherries mingle with lively cola, baking spice and cedar notes. The fruit from the aromas are present in the mouth as well with rich plum and cherry cola flavors being framed by vanilla and light oak. There are nice dry tannins throughout that are well integrated and provide a long satisfying finish. This is a well balanced and supple wine that is meant to be enjoyed upon release but can benefit from some short term cellar aging.

    Critical Acclaim

    Steltzner

    Steltzner Vineyards

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    Steltzner Vineyards, , California
    Steltzner
    Dick Steltzner established his Stags Leap District vineyard in 1965 and concurrently engaged in vineyard management. In 1983 Steltzner Vineyards established their own modest 3,000 case capacity facility at the vineyard. In 1991 Dick and Christine Steltzner expanded the winery with completion of a new underground storage tunnel. This facility has allowed increased volume as well as enhanced quality characteristic of underground storage. Construction of a new winery building was completed in 1995.

    Beloved for flavorful red wines, Alba is an epicurean’s dream. The historic walled town at its heart is where growers from throughout the Piedmont region would once go to sell their produce to winemakers and négociants following the harvest, but today it is better recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations. Sandwiched between Barolo and Barbaresco, the best vineyards, located atop sunny, south-facing hills, are planted with Nebbiolo. A popular entry-level alternative to its pricier neighbors, Nebbiolo d’Alba is softer and less tannic, ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling.

    Dolcetto, one of Piedmont’s more easygoing varieties, is commonly grown here, known as Dolecetto d'Alba, and can often be found casually served in carafes on the tables of Alba’s oseterias and trattorias. These light and smooth wines are meant to be drunk young and with gusto while the region’s more serious wines age. Barbera is planted here as well, and takes on a more powerful, structured personality than that of its counterparts in Asti.

    Dolcetto

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    An easy-drinker with modest acidity and soft fruity flavors, Dolcetto is often enjoyed in its native Piedmont while more serious Barolos and Barbarescos take their time to age. Here, this is the wine you are most likely to find at the dinner table on a casual Tuesday night. In recent years Dolcetto has found some footing in California, but plantings are fairly limited outside of Italy.

    In the Glass

    Dolcetto translates to “little sweet one,” and though the wines produced are typically not sweet in terms of residual sugar, they do possess delightfully fruity flavors of red cherry and blueberry, with an almond-like bitterness at the end and occasional hints of chocolate and licorice. While Dolcetto can be tannic, it is relatively low in acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Dolcetto is a lively, exuberant variety without much complexity, and as such is best paired with simple, flavorsome foods such as pasta, pizza, and grilled meats—anything an Italian farmer might consume after a long day in the fields.

    Sommelier Secret

    In most of Piedmont, easy-ripening Dolcetto is relegated to the less ideal vineyard locations, which are reserved for more finicky Nebbiolo and Barbera. However, in the Dogliani zone it is the star of the show, and here it makes a bigger, riper, and often more serious style of wine.

    SOU20974_2006 Item# 98147

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