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2010 Outcast

Steele Wines

Posted on June 6th, 2013

It is tough to pick favorites in this business, but there are inevitably wineries that make a lasting impression - whether from a tasting experience that knocks your socks off, or the unbelievable ability to make consistently delicious, varietally correct wines without missing a beat. The latter is what we like to call a 'go-to' winery, one that you can confidently order off of a wine list or grab off the shelf without a trace of doubt that you will enjoy it. Today's offer comes from one such winery, Steele Wines from Kelseyville, CA. Besides making great wine, each and every person we've met from the winery, including Jed Steele himself, has been incredibly gracious, knowledgeable and passionate about their craft.

Jed Steele is an all-star winemaker with five labels in his portfolio, including eighteen different single varietal bottlings. With all of these different grapes floating around the winery, it does not seem possible that the first vintage of a red blend from Steele was only recently released. However, making a blend just to use extra juice is not always a good enough reason to make a blend. No, if Jed Steele makes a blend, it is not going to be an after-thought, but rather a very well intentioned effort. That, friends, is exactly what we have in Steele's Outcast red blend - a deliberate, serious wine that fits perfectly into the portfolio of a winery that consistently knocks it out of the park with all of their winemaking efforts.

2010 Steele Wines Outcast Red Blend - $20.99 (Warehouse pick-up: $18.99)

The second vintage bottling of a red blend from Steele Winery, the Outcast consists of 51% Syrah, 23% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 7% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 3% Petite Verdot from Lake County, CA. The name "Outcast" is in reference to the lack of tourist traffic Lake County sees in comparison to its other grape growing neighbors (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino) - the result of its more remote, isolated location. Though the quality of Lake County grapes are highly regarded, they are mostly shipped to wineries in the more popular surrounding counties, with very few wineries actually setting up shop within Lake County itself.

Bold and luscious, the Outcast is a wonderful representation both of the high-quality Lake County fruit and the skilled winemaking of the team at Steele Wines. Smooth and lush, with dark fruit on the nose and palate, along with a rich, spicy finish. Incredible whether sipping slowly (or quickly if you wish, we don't judge) on its own, or a great match with barbequed ribs.

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