It’s been a while since we last hosted a virtual wine tasting here at Steve’s, so it’s about time to get another one on the calendar.
I’m excited to have one my favorite wineries from Washington for this next tasting event. Joining us will be Winemaker, Andrew Januik. We have been enjoying the Januik wines for many years, well before they were even distributed in retail or restaurants here in the Texas region. We first tasted the Januik wines while visiting friends in Houston and they raved about the wine. After drinking through a few bottles, when we arrived back home, we called up the winery and joined their wine club.
Andrew, the son of Mike Januik who started the winery, will be our featured speaker for this tasting event.
Mike and Carolyn Januik established Januik Winery in 1999. It was the realization of a dream that took hold in 1980 when the couple sold their Ashland, Oregon wine shop for Mike to study winemaking at UC Davis.
After graduation, the Januiks moved to Washington to be closer to family. California friends thought it was a risky move. Washington wines were largely unknown. But over the ensuing decades, Mike proved them wrong. He crushed his first grapes in Washington in 1984 and quickly developed a reputation for quality winemaking just as the state’s reputation for world-class wines began to take hold.
The Novelty Hill and Januik partnership began in 2000, shortly after Mike began consulting on the planting of the Alberg family’s Stillwater Creek Vineyard on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills in Washington State’s Columbia Valley. Though an uncharted growing region at the time, Mike liked what the site offered and was intrigued by the Albergs’ interest in planting a diverse selection of clones. He encouraged the family to consider making wine from the site; they agreed, provided Mike serve as winemaker. Novelty Hill was born.
From the start, it has been a family-run operation. In the fall of 2009, Andrew Januik joined his dad in the cellar full-time. Today, he collaborates with Mike and winemaker Scott Moeller on all aspects of production in addition to crafting his own label, Andrew Januik Wines, launched in 2011.
2017 Bacchus Vineyard Riesling - at Januik Winery, they believe single vineyard wines should only be made when a particular site yields an exceptional wine that reflects the unique character of the vineyard. Bacchus Vineyard is located outside Pasco on a southwest facing slope which overlooks the Columbia River. Planted at Bacchus Vineyard are two of Germany’s best Riesling clones, Geisenheim 198 and Neustadt 90, from which our Riesling is made.
Bright and refreshing, the Bacchus Vineyard Riesling is brimming with apricot, peach and grapefruit flavors and aromas. Punctuated with mineral notes, the finish is crisp, balanced and lingering.
2017 Novelty Hill Chardonnay – Stillwater Creek Vineyard (Ten Vintage have been rated 90+)
91 pts. Wine Enthusiast, Editor’s Choice - “Beautifully balanced flavors.”
Round and generous, this barrel-fermented Chardonnay offers fresh pear and crisp apple aromas and flavors that echo across the palate and wrap around a rich, creamy finish. Sur lie aged for added mouthfeel and richness.
Novelty Hill’s Stillwater Creek estate vineyard is located on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills in Washington State’s Columbia Valley. The fractured basalt found throughout the site imparts an appealing mineral character to Chardonnay planted here. Innovative clonal selection distinguishes the vineyard as well, including Entav clone 95, a relative newcomer to the Columbia Valley.
2017 Novelty Hill Royal Slope Red Blend
A delicious Merlot-based blend from top Columbia Valley vineyards
From Novelty Hill's Stillwater Creek estate vineyard and other top Columbia Valley sites comes this delicious, medium-bodied red. It is an aromatic wine with mouth-watering layers of wild berries, sweet cherry and black currant. Balanced and lively across the mid-palate, with a fresh, fruit-forward finish that lasts.
Blend: 46% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
2017 Novelty Hill Syrah Columbia Valley - 91 pts. Jeb Dunnuck - "This is classic Syrah all the way."
A classic Washington State Syrah with aromas of coffee bean, smoked meat and dark fruit gaining focus on the palate. Wild blackberry, dark plum and savory notes of olive and black pepper are woven throughout, with refined tannins adding dimension across a long, flavorful finish.
Planted in 2000 on a steep, south-facing slope with one of the most elite grape clone selections in Washington State, Stillwater Creek quickly earned a reputation as one of the Columbia Valley’s top vineyards. Clones 1, 99, 174 and Joseph Phelps are grown here, making Stillwater Creek home to one of the most diverse Syrah clone selections in Washington.
2016 Januik Merlot Klipsun Vineyard - 90+ pts. 12 years running
Among the great vineyards of Washington State, Klipsun ranks right at the top. Wine & Spirits Magazine has named it one of the 25 greatest vineyards in the world. Located in the Red Mountain appellation, it produces wines with great power, depth, and concentration. The wines from this vineyard tend to be very long-lived.
An intensely dark ruby red color is followed by notes of raspberries, blackberries, and spice. On first impression, it becomes apparent that this wine is one that will age beautifully for many years to come. The nicely proportioned palate shows tremendous length as well as an abundance of spice and fruit as it evolves in the glass.
2016 Januik Cabernet Columbia Valley
98% Cabernet Sauvignon; 2% Merlot
This supple, bold Cabernet Sauvignon is loaded with red and black fruit flavors as well as plum, mocha and cedar notes in the nose. Its texture is quite refined and shows great structure across the palate, imparting a long, ample finish that was developed in part from the use of new French Oak barrels.
It's July, and it's the month we recognize the official birth of the United States. We recognize that we are a country built on people who have come to this land from many other countries. So this month we do a salute to 8 different countries, past and present, through wine.
Call to order your tasting to-go 940-514-1852
In our trip around the world we begin with the premier grape of South Africa: Chenin Blanc. This extremely versatile grape accounts for 18% of total acreage, and is made into just about any style you can imagine. As such, many regions have some amount of Chenin Blanc growth, but for this month we will be looking to the Southwest region of Swartland; a relatively new area with a particular focus on more savory examples of the grape. The 2019 Storm Point, named after the ‘Cape of Storms’ moniker once bestowed upon the ‘Cape of Good Hope’ showcases this focus extremely well. It pours a clear pale straw with light yellow hues. The nose is wonderfully fresh, with notes of florals, citrus zest, and salinity. The palate follows suit with restrained stone fruit notes and elderflower. This is all contained within a light, crisp texture with bright acidity; likely the result of the winemaker’s choice to avoid malolactic fermentation. The salinity and nuance of this wine makes it an ideal candidate for clean, grilled seafood and shellfish.
With the more well-known wine regions of the world, we made an effort to bring in varietals off of the beaten path; case and point, New Zealand Pinot Gris. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay compose the bulk of white varietal growth in NZ by a wide margin, but the same characteristics that make it such a haven for fragrant, bright Sauvignon Blanc make it a haven for Pinot Gris as well. Wairarapa, located on the most Southern point of the North island, displays the cooler climate characteristics of the South island, which makes for an extremely fragrant version of this Burgundy mutation. This Pinot Gris pours a pale straw with light green hues, exploding with notes of melon, ripe pear, and grapefruit. The palate yields a plethora of tropical fruits accented by lively acidity and minerality. The fruit in this wine makes it an ideal candidate for Thai cuisine or even sushi!
We know Portugal for the production of fortified wines such as Port and Madeira along with the almost innumerable grapes that go into their production, but many of these grapes are also used to produce long-lived, well-structured dry wines. Coming from the Lisboa ‘Vinho Regional’, the PAXIS “Bulldog” is a largely equal blend of Touriga Nacional (too-REE-ga nah-syo-NAHL), Touriga Franca (too-REE-ga f-RAN-ka) and Tinto Roriz (tin-toh ror-ij); the latter of which is a local iteration of Tempranillo. This wine does an excellent job of showing the potential of these grapes in a fresher, untouched context. The 2013 vintage pours a rich garnet with purple hues. Time has not muted a rich bouquet of fresh cherries and raspberries accented by savory spice. The tannins have smoothed into a velvety consistency, surrounding a core of rich dark blue and black berries with noted minerality. This wine is in its optimal window, so pair it with grilled red meats and hearty vegetables like asparagus.
Often known for Malbec and Torrontes, Argentina boasts an impressive selection of grape varieties used in the production of fine wine. Not far behind in Malbec in the red department, is Bonarda. Believe or not, there is a solid chance that you have already experienced this grape, as it has become popular for blending in a multitude of large-production red blends, generally under the name of Charbono. The minds behind this rendition, Hector and Pablo Durigutti, were key figures in the establishment of Argentina as the top producer of high quality Malbec, and have since shifted their focus to a holistic catalogue of grape varieties in their eponymous catalog in order to further the winegrowing profile of Argentina. Drawing from some of the highest quality subregions of Mendoza and San Juan, this Bonarda is an excellent example of the grape's potential. It pours a rich purple color with blue hues, yielding lush blue fruits accented by notes of five spice and cinnamon. Rich notes of black cherry and plum are woven seamlessly with mocha and mint, creating a nuanced and decadent wine. This wine screams for a plate of short ribs or venison.
With regards to wine production and distribution, Turkey is relatively self-contained, with much of the resulting wine remaining within its borders (Something that will likely change as its wine laws become more integrated with the EU standards). Kavaklidere has been one of the lone forces bringing Turkish wine to the masses, with a massive portfolio of different lines utilizing both non-indingenous and native grapes. One of the latter is Narince ( Nair-inj-uh), one of the more prominent white varieties. The 2018 vintage of their Ancyra line pours a brilliant light yellow with white hues. The nose yields bright notes of mandarin, peach, and fragrant florals. The palate will reward lovers of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay lovers alike, with fresh peach, Meyer lemon cut by zingy acidity and minerality. The Ancrya line is named after the latin term for anchor or Ankyra, so use this to “anchor” a dish of meaty octopus or grilled chicken.
Though generally not thought of as the European king/queen of cold-climate Pinot Noir, Germany has rapidly gained a reputation for producing focused, savory, and approachable renditions. They generally fall into a lighter category, sharing many characteristics with those produced in New Zealand and the most savory examples from Oregon. The advantage Germany’s renditions have over these is an established and notoriously rigorous classification system, which puts the AOC and DOC systems of France and Italy respectively to shame. This system is why Germany is seen as one of the more consistent quality wine-producing regions in the world, and this wine displays that perfectly. The ‘Daily August’ pours a medium ruby with light purple hues. The nose explodes with notes of dried cherry and currant accented by ‘green’ notes of red pepper and earth. The palate is a luscious exercise in ripeness balanced with structure, with ripe cherry and cola notes balanced by well-integrated tannins and balanced acidity, resulting in a complex red that you can enjoy during any time of the year. Pair this with a savory dish focused on various mushrooms.
As the Texas wine scene continues to develop its standing among the winegrowing scene in the US, it is becoming clear which grape varieties work well within the state’s climate and geography. Mourvedre, a grape notorious for its late ripening and budding tendencies, works extremely well in this unforgiving climate, and many winemakers have taken notice. There is a developing plethora of styles ranging from austere examples resembling something closer to red Burgundy to rich, ripe roses layered with notes of bubblegum and cotton candy. A recent addition to this pool is the ‘Texoir’ line developed by Lost High Plains, whose goal is to display the potential of single-varietal, hot-climate wines from the Texas High Plains AVA. The 2018 Mourvedre pours a dark ruby to purple color with a nose filled with reduced blue fruits, earth, and smokiness. The palate is intensely focused and ever-evolving, beginning with a core of plum and blackberry, and eventually evolving into a finish of mocha and smoky wood notes; all enrobed in well-integrated tannins. This is an unmistakably rich wine that can be enjoyed now or 3 years from now with rich braised lamb or beef dishes.
First, can we talk about how cool it is you are about to enjoy a wine that has aged beautifully since 2007? Back to the wine; WAY down on the list of varieties grown in Spain are the grapes of Bordeaux. Despite this, many of the highest quality wines of Spain use Bordeaux varieties to balance with Tempranillo; perhaps most notably in the fabled Vega-Sicilia portfolio. Many wineries have continued this trend by producing blends composed completely of these varieties, including the Los Aljibes, which uses a blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc aged for 12 months in a combination of American and French oak. It pours a lovely garnet with purple/red hues. Ripe cherry, raspberry, and red plum are woven with cinnamon and five spice on the nose. The palate is rich and full-bodied with lush red and blue fruit accented by bittersweet chocolate, granite, and oak. Time has softened the velvety tannins and acidity, leaving a complex, impeccably balanced wine to accompany ribeye or venison.
So come join us this month and taste through all of these wines.
Gold club members can add-on the Platinum tasting for only $10 a person.
For those who are not club members, you can still join us for tasting. The Gold Club Tasting may be purchased for $15 a person, and the Platinum Club is available at $20 a person. If you are feeling adventurous, you may try all 8 wines for $30.
Our hours this week:
2pm - 7pm Tuesday - Saturday
Sunday 2pm - 6pm
Order and Pick-Up number - 940-514-1852
WE WILL BE CLOSED TO TABLE SERVICE STARTING TODAY JUNE 26TH.
With the new mandate from Governor Abbott, we will be open for to-go business only.
Our hours during this period will be 2pm to 7pm Tuesday – Saturday and 2pm – 6pm on Sunday.
Our online store is open for business and we invite you to place your orders online for pick up here at Steve’s Wine Bar.
Additionally, you may call in your order and club members can place their order for their club wines and To-Go Tasting. (940) 514-1852
Thanks for your support, encouragement, and understanding.
From all of us here at Steve’s, Thank You!!!
Stay safe and well and we hope to see you soon.
Cigar Tasting: We will push this new event out a month and hope we can deliver a fun Sunday afternoon of cigars and wine the last Sunday in July.
July 26th, Micah Walker, our in-house cigar guy, will be working with me to craft a different pairing of select cigars, wine and beer which we will enjoy on the patio. We will do a special priced pairing during Sunday afternoon and early evening. Plan to join us for our first cigar special event.
Wine Club: Wine Club Wine Info is online on our blog.
Wine online – If you are looking for a great deal, purchase one of our Dealer’s Choice cases for a mix of really tasty wines. Or simply place your order for your favorite wine(s) and we will have it ready for you to pick up.
Check out our Facebook page – Brian is doing a daily write up on our wines. If you would like to learn more about what we have in stock or on special, visit our page at https://www.facebook.com/steveswinebar/
Join us for a virtual tasting with owner Doug Filipponi. Doug is a longtime local winegrower and Paso Robles native who oversees all vineyard operations for Ancient Peaks Winery. Doug was named “Wine Industry Person of The Year” by his wine industry peers at the 2006 California Mid State Fair in Paso Robles. He is also the president of Filipponi & Thompson Drilling, the current president of the Paso Robles Cab Collective, a past president of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, and a past chairman of the Paso Robles Wine Festival. Doug is the co-owner of Margarita Vineyard and Ancient Peaks Winery.
We will have a great opportunity to learn more about Paso Robles, the wine industry in California, the winery, and of course the wines from one of the leaders in the industry.
As in previous virtual tastings, we will have five featured wines to consider for your enjoyment during the tasting.
Choose two or more of the wines to participate in the Zoom Virtual Tasting.
The Chardonnay presents exuberant aromas of tropical fruits with notes of honeysuckle, caramel and hazelnut. The palate is smooth and resonant, unfolding with beautifully integrated flavors of pear, pineapple, peach and citrus. Touches of lively acidity linger on a lengthy, seamless finish. Recommended pairings include grilled citrus chicken, fettuccine alfredo, butter-poached scallops, and shrimp pasta in white wine sauce.
The Merlot opens with dusty aromas of boysenberry, black cherry, vanilla and toasted oak. A soft, rounded texture delivers mouthfilling flavors of blueberry, blackberry, cinnamon, dark chocolate and cola. Velvety tannins are finely integrated into a rich, chewy finish. The full-bodied character of the Merlot is a fine match for rich, flavorful fare. Recommended pairings include beef tenderloin, pasta with lamb ragu, mushroom risotto and red wine-braised brisket.
The Zinfandel offers deep, savory aromas of black cherry and plum with notes of vanilla, tobacco and dusty spice. Bright, brambly flavors of red raspberry and boysenberry unfold across a juicy texture with hints of cedar wood and black tea. Fresh acidity adds lift and structure to a sleek, peppery finish. The bright fruit and juicy texture of the Zinfandel make this wine a fitting match for fine comfort foods, including barbecued chicken, grilled sausage, Santa Maria-style tri-tip and vegetarian flatbread.
The Cabernet Sauvignon presents an enticing bouquet of black olive, leather, caramel and coffee. The palate is smooth and layered, revealing prodigious flavors of cherry, plum, blueberry and cassis with trailing hits of mint and toasted oak. Juicy acidity and sumptuous tannins add length to a resoundingly elegant finish. Enjoy with richly textured dishes, such as veal roast with mushrooms, rack of lamb with rosemary butter, and filet mignon with black olive sauce.
Each year, we craft the limited-edition Oyster Ridge cuvée to exemplify our finest winemaking efforts. The name Oyster Ridge is a tribute to the large white oyster fossils that are abundant in our estate Margarita Vineyard, fostering the type of calcium-rich soils coveted by winemakers worldwide.
Cabernet Sauvignon 80% Petit Verdot 10% Malbec 5% Cabernet Franc 4% Merlot 1%.
The 2017 Oyster Ridge exemplifies Paso Robles’ growing renown as an elite region for Cabernet Sauvignon. The aroma profile presents a captivating intermingling of red fruits, blueberry and black currant with accents of mint, forest floor and toasted oak. An extravagantly deep palate cascades with luxurious layers of blackberry, boysenberry, black olive, chocolate, tobacco and cedar, all underpinned by hints of eucalyptus and baking spice. A plush, seamless texture exhibits a sleek sense of minerality, while firm, chewy tannins add a powerful touch to a seemingly endless finish.
This month we asked our team to come up with wines they feel they would love to talk about and share with our club members and guests. We have a great line up for you and we hope you enjoy each of these very enjoyable and tasty wines.
Call to reserve a table at 940-514-1852
Micah has fallen in love with Sauvignon Blanc and his favorite has been one we have been pouring regularly here at Steve's for several months.
For more than 85 years, family-owned, Wooden Valley Winery has been producing award-winning wines from the Suisun Valley appellation. Mario Lanza and Lena Carlevaro Lanza met in Oakland, California in 1934, and married three years later. Their families both came from the small town of Silvano Di Orba, in northern Italy. Mario loved this land. He purchased the ranch next door to the winery, and gradually replaced its 36 acres of pear and prune trees with vines. The property would grow to over 300 acres of prime vineyards. The current generation of Lanzas have a vision for Wooden Valley Winery and Vineyards – to establish Suisun Valley as a world-class wine region. And as the family’s fourth generation matures, the future certainly looks bright for Mario and Lena’s great-grandchildren.
When they say their wine is made in the vineyard, the wine is the exact definition of what they are talking about. The grapes are harvested early in the morning so they are cold when they are crushed. This is done to avoid premature oxidation, keeping the juice clean and fresh tasting, which allows the wine to be fresh and tart. The wine opens with aromas of peach and grapefruit. On the palate, the grapefruit continues with the addition of hints of lemon. It is a fun and pretty wine that should pair well with chicken, pork, and turkey.
Svetlana asked for us to put a very enjoyable Rosé on the club this month. Her choice is a French wine with a very interesting profile.
Often used in small amounts in Rosé blends throughout the Loire Valley, the Grolleau grape is rarely seen gracing the label on its own. Vignoble Malidain’s Rosé use of the odd grape offers a refreshing change to the Provence Rosé's currently dominating store shelves. The wine pours a brilliant, light pink. Sour strawberry and raspberry notes spring out of the glass, with the palate displaying fresh red fruits enveloped in mild tannins, zingy acid, and a round texture. With some more power than the standard “porch-pounding” Rosé, food pairings could range from rich seafood dishes to roast pork.
Brian's choice for this month is, as you might imagine, an old world classic Malbec.
Argentina is currently acknowledged as the Malbec capital of the world, but there was a region focusing on this Bordeaux-afterthought well before. The ‘black wines’ of Cahors date back to the Middle Ages, and have long focused on rich, elegant concoctions of Malbec supplemented by Tannat and Merlot. Chateau Nozieres’ Ambroise de L’Her is a modern example that pays homage to traditional wine-making methods. As the vernacular would suggest, the wine pours a rich, opaque purple with ruby tinges. The nose is filled with lovely fresh blue and black fruits, with baking spice highlights. Supple tannins and acidity help balance against the richness of the fruit on the palate, creating a balanced wine that can be paired with rich lamb or beef dishes.
Margie loves a full bodied dry red wine. She is very partial to Spanish wines and her request is a very full flavored Garnacha.
In 2005, The Juan Gil Wine Family established Bodegas Ateca to take advantage of the fertile vineyards of the Calatayud DOP within the larger Aragon region. Though known largely as a rose-producing region, Aragon, and consequently Calatayud, also produce rich reds composed of one of Spain’s most recognizable varietals: Garnacha Noir (Grenache). Honoro Vera represents one of the recent super values in the world of wine, with minimal winemaking interference creating a fresh and powerful product. This purple-hued wine gives off scents of blue and black fruits accented by spice and tea. The palate shows off much of the same, with granite and supple tannins followed by a long, ripe finish of plum and blackberry. Pair this with grilled red meats or rich, creamy cheeses.
Courtney is in love with our Quilt Chardonnay and wanted to make sure it was considered for this month's wine club.
Crafted by superstar winemaker Joseph Wagner (Meiomi, Elouan, Belle Glos, etc.), Quilt aims to put out high-quality, multi-AVA, and Napa-sourced wines. The 2017 vintage of Quilt Chardonnay represents one of the more critically-successful attempts, receiving praise from multiple wine review outlets. Sourced from the Oak Knoll and Carneros AVA’s, this wine is aged for 15 months in 70% new French oak barrels before undergoing malolactic fermentation, which imparts the wine’s characteristic butter and vanilla notes. It pours a brilliant golden color, with apple, pear, honey, and melon notes on the nose. The palate screams Cali-chardonnay with luscious Meyer lemon, apple, and pineapple accented by kiwi and lemon zest. Per the winery, this dish is best served with sautéed chicken served with garlic fingerling potatoes or an angel hair pasta tossed with a white wine sauce.
Codi loves her some UNT, and local wine maker John Cassaro has created a special Tempranillo for UNT to help raise funds for the alumni organization as well as a very enjoyable and easy drinking wine. $5 of every bottle sold goes to the UNT alumni organization.
Blending Texas wines with Italian tradition, John and Jill Matthews and Cassaro Winery bring a Tuscan wine-tasting experience to the Dallas – Ft. Worth metroplex. Located on nearly three acres in historic downtown Ovilla, their 1910 Texas farmhouse has been remodeled into a Tuscan-style tasting room and winery. The Cassaro family’s wine-making history dates back to when John’s grandfather Giuseppe Cassaro emigrated to the United States from Italy. John wanted to continue the tradition, and planted his first European varietals in 2015. Today, John uses 100% Texas grapes to make Texas wines in true Italian fashion.
This 2017 North Texas Tempranillo is 100% Texas High Plains grape. Native to Spain, this Tempranillo is a favorite among dry, red lovers with its bold and earthy texture and hints of cherry. A portion of the proceeds from all sales are donated to the UNT Alumni Association to support student scholarships and other alumni initiatives.
Wendy picked a wine that we have never poured here at Steve's Wine Bar. It's good know that our team is always looking for outstanding wines to present to our club members and guests.
Ammunition wines is the realization of the vision shared by Bill Kerr and Andy Wahl to create well-produced Sonoma-sourced multi-AVA wines. Their flagship product is the ‘The Equalizer’; a red blend composed of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, and Mourvedre sourced from the Sonoma Valley AVA. The wine is aged for 18 months in 35% new French Oak, imparting notes of vanilla and creme brulee. This supports the rich dark, reduced red and blue fruit notes found on the nose and palate. This is all woven into a well-structured wine with supple tannins and acidity, creating a powerhouse wine rich in alcohol capable of 5-10 years of additional aging. This combination screams barbecue, and should be present at your next gathering.
Karen demanded we put a Zinfandel on the club....well demanded is a bit strong, but we both love our Zinfandel and one of the wines we always looked for when going out to drink, before we owned a wine bar, was the Oakville Zinfandel.
Napa is often overlooked as a hub of Zinfandel production for the more commercially-active appellations such as Dry Creek Valley, Lodi, and Paso Robles. Napa’s offerings are generally more-structured and less fruity, but will offer the Zin-lover something marvelous regardless. Oakville Winery’s Estate Zinfandel is an excellent example of this, offering a more savory version of the grape supplemented by its customary fruit and richness. This Zin is sourced from two of the family’s Oakville vineyards, and aged in a combination of American and Hungarian oak for 12 months. It pours a rich ruby color with red hues. Raspberry sauce, pepper, and clove scents arise from the glass, followed by tastes of the same accompanied by a rich round texture on firm, but supple tannins. The finish is long, and filled with ripe plum and berry notes. Much like the ‘The Equalizer’ this Zin could be at home paired with BBQ, but could also stand up to rich short rib or steak dishes.
So come join us this month and taste through all of these wines.
Gold club members can add-on the Platinum tasting for only $10 a person.
For those who are not club members, you can still join us for tasting. The Gold Club Tasting may be purchased for $15 a person, and the Platinum Club is available at $20 a person. If you are feeling adventurous, you may try all 8 wines for $30.
We are excited to have an opportunity to share some more amazing wines, and a very cool Winemaker, with you on this episode of Virtual Wine Tasting at Steve’s. You may have tasted his always popular Trainwreck Cabernet Sauvignon served here at the bar. I respectfully tell people that it is Chris’ entry level wine, and it’s a damn good entry level wine. 😊
We will be discussing several wines during this tasting event and we have 5 of his many wines available for you to choose from for this event.
You can read more about each of these wines further down in this post.
All are available online at Steves Wine Bar Products and Merchandise for purchase today and pick on Friday.
Chris Dearden has been crafting fine wines in Napa Valley for over 25 years. Wine has been a part of his family life since childhood, where it was served regularly at dinner as a celebration of everyday meals. The third generation Californian was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley town of Porterville and always had an aptitude and love for agriculture and life sciences.
After several internships with wineries and research positions at UC Davis, he came directly to the Napa Valley and has never looked back. He held winemaking positions with William Hill, Madonna Estate, and Beaulieu Vineyard/Inglenook/Christian Brothers, and he spent three years at Seguin Moreau Cooperage where he credits learning more about winemaking than in the previous years as a day-to-day winemaker. Representing the company, he traveled to the finest winemaking regions in France, South America and California, Oregon and Washington State helping winemakers make better wines and learning how the best wines are made around the world.
He began a fourteen-year journey developing a Napa Valley winery from the ground up. He established the vineyard, brand, wine style and identity. During this period, he also developed the North American branch of the highly respected Gamba Cooperage, Costa Del Sol Consulting Company, luxury wine brands Chanticleer and Sleeping Giant, and a premium Pinot noir vineyard estate in the Carneros district of Napa Valley, which is a cornerstone of Chris’s great wines today.
2010 marked the beginning of a new chapter for Chris when he established the Dearden Wines Portfolio which today includes flagship Sleeping Giant Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir and Chardonnay; Little Giant Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay; Argus Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Rosato; One-Iron Red Blend; Two-Iron Cabernet Sauvignon; Three-Iron limited production Zinfandel; Train Wreck Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc; and Costa del Sol Red Blend.
Dearden’s Carneros vineyard property, which is fondly referred to as “Las Amigas Partners,” is planted to five different clones of Pinot noir and a small amount of Chardonnay on an 11.6-acre parcel. The residence and an historic water tower were refurbished and are an outward sign of the Dearden family’s respect for the past and loyalty to the future. To round out the vineyard, residence and newly restored historic water tower, plans are in the works for development of a boutique winery that will include the renovation of an existing barn. The Dearden family invites you to share the experience of this beautiful setting with them.
Chris lives in the beautiful Napa Valley with his high-school sweetheart wife Paige and their two children, Sam and Addie.
The “Sleeping Giant” is the section of mountain range of the Mayacamas that runs from the Northern edge of Mount Veeder in Napa almost up to the Yountville Veterans Home. It becomes the focal point of conversation as the sun sets on the Western hills. Chris Dearden has lived and produced fine wines in Napa Valley since 1986. A trained enologist from UC Davis, with an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, Dearden has pursued single vineyard wines for Shibumi Knoll, V Madrone and Benessere in St. Helena and Chanticleer in Yountville. His Cabernets, Chardonnays and Italian varietals have garnered both critical and consumer acclaim since 1995.
A delicious, full-bodied Chardonnay with just the right amount of buttery, fresh notes of lemon, green apple, caramel custard and almond nuances.
94 pts. Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis
Rich, deeply fruity, silky and sweet-tart with notes of raspberry, clove-studded ham, dried oregano and cocoa powder.
Everyone has a ‘train wreck’ of a day once in a while. This wine is meant to get your day ‘back on track’ with its broad appeal and approachability. Even if your day is going smoothly you will enjoy savoring our Train Wreck wines with your favorite meal or just your favorite person. Keep your ‘train wrecks’ on the table and in the fridge!
Chris Dearden loves to play golf and is pretty good on any course, but he can’t hit his low irons no matter how hard he tries. In fact, not many people can! The Iron Series wines were created so anyone could enjoy the pleasure of swinging an iron with ease. This collection of wines includes varietals that are food friendly, delicious, and delightfully better to drink than to swing!
Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of red wines and the Napa Valley is world-famous for producing big, bold wines of outstanding character. Merlot was judiciously blended to produce a wine of structure, flavor and balance.
Meritage is a term used to describe wines made from the Bordeaux varietals in California. A full-bodied red wine with tantalizing notes of berries, sage, dark chocolate and cherry cola.
Our hours this week:
2pm - 7pm Tuesday - Saturday
Sunday 2pm - 6pm
NEW Order and Pick-Up number - 940-514-1852
What a start to the new week! We hope that your week has started off fantastic as well!
As you likely have heard, the bar scene is returning to Texas! Of course it won’t be as it was prior to March, but the governor has given bar owners the okay to open this Friday, if they so choose. We are still in a “startup” mode with this new opportunity, and please, know things will continue to change over the next few weeks.
We are opening up our patio for table service on Friday May 22!
Inside seating will be in place starting Friday, May 29th.
Stay tuned for details on that phase of our reopening.
While table reservations are a new way of doing things, COVID-19 related occupancy and social distancing requirements necessitate managing our available guest space very thoughtfully.
Guests who arrive without a reservation will be welcome based on available seating or may be asked to put in a reservation for the next available table.
Specials and Events:
Live Music: We will continue to do our Live Streams on Wednesday evening. Please join us at 6pm on Wednesdays for these great musical experiences. This week we have Jeffry Eckels on Bass and Davy Mooney on Guitar!
Virtual Tasting Events will continue: We are working with Dearden Wines, the maker of Trainwreck and the Little Giant, to put together a special event the weekend of May 29th. So stay tuned for those details over the next few days.
Specially Priced cases of wine: We will continue the Dealers Choice cases of wine. We will also begin The Monday Dealers Choice Six Packs starting next week. These will be limited quantity six packs of wines to be sold only on Monday online at our website.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we look to reopen by providing the highest standards of safety for our patrons, as well as our staff.
We are grateful for your continued support of Steve’s Wine Bar.
Club Tastings to-go: Club members can call ahead and ask to have their tasting put together for them to take and taste the club wines from the comfort of their home.
Learn more about the club wines this month by checking out our blog at steveswinebar.com/blog.
Tasting Platinum Wines: If you are a Gold Club member and would like to also taste the platinum club wines, we will set that up for you take home along with your gold club wines for $10. 😊
Not a Club Member and still want to taste the wines?: If you are not a club member and would like to take a tasting home from this months featured wines, you may do so. Simply call ahead and we can set that up for you. The Gold Club tasting is $15 and the Platinum Club is $20. If you want to do all the wines, we have that set up for $30. 😊
To-Go Glass of Wine: Of course all the wines we have on the keeper for the club are available to-go by the glass and the bottle.
Denton Main Street Association Give Away:
We are participating in the Downtown Denton Main Street program that is running now through June 30th.
When you purchase $10 or more here at Steve’s Wine bar, you will receive a voucher. When you collect vouchers from 12 different businesses, you can turn those into Discover Denton and receive a special "I Supported Downtown Denton" T-Shirt.
Thank you again for your support!
Cheers from us all!
Steve, Karen and the entire Steve's Wine Bar Team
We will be discussing 5 wines from Klinker Brick Winery from Lodi, CA along with the Klinker Brick history in the wine and grape growing business and how Lodi and that wine region continues to develop and grow.
The Felten family began growing grapes for wine production in Lodi in the late 1800s. Steve is the 5th generation of grape growers and Farrah, his daughter, is the 6th! In the beginning the family grew grapes to sell to individuals for home wine production. During prohibition, the Felton’s continued producing grapes for home wine makers thus preserving many of their Zinfandel plantings. As a result, today they own some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the world. As California wine production grew in quality and starting gaining recognition on an international scale, the Felten’s began to sell fruit to many of California’s premium producers. When Steve took over he continued this tradition as well as consulting for and farming several vineyards for family and friends in Lodi. It was not until 1996 when he was stuck with a lot of fruit that he called on the help of his friend and winemaker Barry Gnekow to help him make wine to sell on the bulk market rather than loose the fruit. Steve enjoyed the process and over the next four years was able to convince his wife Lori that they should make wine under their own label from their family vineyards. In 2000 they produced the first vintage of Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel and the next chapter in the family history began.
Purchase two or more of these featured wines by Wednesday evening online here. We will take delivery of these wines on Thursday for you to pick up and take home for the Friday evening Tasting Event.
Renée, a WSET II certified specialist, joined Klinker Brick Winery as Southeastern Sales Manager in January of 2017, bringing over 8 years’ experience in the wine business. A Maryland native, Renée was born into a family passionate about food and wine quickly developing her own affinity for gastronomy. She earned a degree in Finance and Economics from The College of Charleston but found herself drawn to the world wine. She worked with a local distributor for eight years in a variety of rolls before assuming her current position at Klinker Brick Winery. In her free time Renee enjoys cooking for friends, traveling and running with her dog, Lola.
Most notably grown in the coastal regions of Spain, Albarino has found a new home in the Mediterranean climate of Lodi. We harvest our 18 acres of Albarino vineyards in two lots, half of the fruit coming in very early in the season when sugars are low ensuring a racy acidity in the finished wine. A perfect pairing with seafood and spicy dishes, look for round melon notes and aromas of juicy white peach.
Rather than approaching Syrah with the “bigger is better” mentality, we prioritize balance in order to showcase the true qualities of this varietal from Lodi. Ruby red in color, the wine gives aromas of Herbs de Provence, black raspberry and toast. The palate bursts with ripe cherry and vanilla followed by a long finished.
As the saying goes, Cab is king. This mindset has led to many of the finest Old Vine Zinfandel vineyards in Lodi being ripped out and replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon. While these vineyards provided settings that were optimal to Zinfandel, they do not produce the same quality with Cabernet. Our philosophy is to keep our treasured Old Vine Zinfandel and search for microclimates in Lodi that are more appropriate for Cabernet. The search has led us to expand to the furthest reaches of the AVA, especially to the east, where we have found pockets of volcanic soil in conjunction with moderately higher elevations. Look for intense blueberry aromas with hints of clove and tobacco.
Inspired by the richness of Bordeaux blends, but crafted using distinctly Lodi grapes, 1850 is a blend of 60% Cabernet, 30% Petite Sirah and 10% Old Vine Zinfandel. The result is a power house wine drawing on the structure of Cabernet, the aromatic elegance of Peitie Sirah and the bright fruit character of Old Vine Zinfandel. 1850 is the temperature at which bricks become over-fired, taking on the dense, dark characteristics emblematic of Klinker Bricks, a fitting name for a wine! Notable for its violet blue fruit perfume, the aroma on 1850 draws your nose into the glass. Deeper aromas of licorice and black pepper lead into dense layers of raspberry and plum are coupled with hints of cinnamon and spice.
The Old Ghost Zinfandel represents the finest Old Vine Zinfandel Klinker Brick produces each year. The name was derived from the Delta Tule Fog which comes up from the ground in the winter time in Lodi, keeping the vineyards moist and cool and surrounding the vines with an ethereal, ghost like fog. With fruit yields less than one ton to the acre, these 100+ year old ancient vines produce thick skinned grapes, giving the wine it’s ethereal, concentrated qualities. An intense nose of vanilla, caramel and botanicals lead to full-bodied flavors of luscious boysenberry and ripe cherry layered with dried herbs and cigar box.
With Steve's Wine Bar
Washington Winemaker, Dirk Brink
Shelter In Place will be different this Friday Evening
from 6:00 – 8:00 PM Central Time.
Purchase 2 bottles of our Featured Basel Cellars wines by Thursday
and join us Friday May 8th at 6:00 PM for a Zoom call and taste along with Winemaker Dirk Brink.
Wine may be picked up Friday afternoon.
The Session Link will be emailed to you prior to the event on Friday.
This is our first-ever wine produced from the Rocks District in Milton-Freewater. This two-year-old Syrah planting produced beautiful mineral-rich fruit from the ancient cobblestones in one of the most distinct AVA’s in the world. All fruit was hand harvested early in the season and only two hours of skin contact was allowed after harvesting. A gentle press cycle was performed, followed by cold settling in stainless steel. A cool, slow fermentation lasted for about 45 days, maintaining freshness and varietal expression, while lees was stirred once a week for extra complexity and flavor. We extended the lees contact post fermentation and stirred for an additional two months to ensure depth and character in this Rosé.
The intriguing bouquet will reveal alluring fruit-driven hints of plum, raspberry, gooseberry and mandarin. This Rosé possesses an attractive floral component with notes of cherry blossom and potpourri. The pronounced minerality from the cobblestones is evident, with hints of chalk and smoke, alongside an exciting earthly element of mushroom and forest floor. The higher pH of the Freewater soil series delivered a wine with roundness and viscosity in the mouthfeel. The velvety texture in the mid-palate gives it a long and lingering sensation and balanced finish.The ripe and “sweet” flavors on the forefront are supported by fair acidity and create a subtle accent behind the fruit. This wine will be in its true element when paired with spicy crab cakes, shell fish pasta, pork shoulder with morel mushrooms or brie with truffle oil.
It is fruit driven with less tannins and acidity in comparison to their many of their other reds. 30% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 17% Malbec and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon. Only neutral oak is used to make this wine for about 18 months. It shows hints of raspberry, plum, butterscotch. It is floral and perfumy. There is just enough tannins to support a great structure of the wine. It stands alone but will age for a short while.
70% Syrah and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is an interesting marriage of exceptional fruit from Mckinley Springs for the Syrah and Phinny Hills Vineyard for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The Syrah is co-fermented with Viognier and aged on Hungarian oak for about 20 months. They used about 7% of the viognier in the co-fermentation. This is a vibrant wine with notes of dark cherry, blueberry and orange peel. The Cabernet brings a great structure to the wine. There are notable layers in this wine. It’s got a wonderful mouthfeel but has fine tannins, great acidity which will allow you to cellar this wine for years to come.
"I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and was always surrounded by vineyards and wineries from a young age. I was always very intrigued by the winemaking process. I think my dad’s love for farming and agriculture and my mom’s patience and attention to detail stuck with me. I studied viticulture and enology in South Africa, and during this time worked at the world renowned Vergelegen and Delheim wine estates. I did my first winemaking Internship at Ingwe Wine Estate in South Africa, and came to the states in 2004 and started internships with Chateau St. Michelle, Bookwalter and then moved on to Assistant Winemaker at Kestrel Vintners and then Winemaker at Coeur d’ Alene Cellars before I came to Basel Cellars."
"I met my beautiful wife Esther in 2005 working at Chateau St. Michelle and got married in 2012. We have one daughter named Anna Marie Lente, a true miracle and blessing from God. We also have an energetic Rhodesian Ridgeback called Cayenne that keeps us on our toes. We enjoy the outdoors, cooking, creating and living life to the fullest every day, and love the God that gave it to us!"
May 2020 is a look back at wines we have found to be big winners from past wine clubs. These wines may look familiar as a few, like Pine Ridge, Aviary, and the Renegade, have been served regularly here at the bar. But all of these wines have not been on our wine club for year or longer. So we are now enjoying a new vintage on all of these wines.
View Steve's comments on the wines:
We are also offering wine-tasting to-go. We have picked up plastic to-go cups which we will be happy to put together in a to-go bag for you to sample at home. Until we are able to start serving you on premise, we want to give you a chance to take home the wine, sample it at home, and then choose your wines for you club. We will number the cap which will correspond with the wines listed here on the blog.
Just call ahead and we will put together your wines for your tasting.
940-514-1852 – Use for pick up and phone orders between 2pm and 7pm.
Founded in 1978 by Gary Andrus, Pine Ridge Vineyards sits in the heart of the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, famous for Cabernet Sauvignon wines of distinctive power and elegance. Today, the winery owns estate vineyards in five premier Napa Valley appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, and Carneros.
Crisp, bright, and vivacious, an aromatic white blend boasting a bouquet of honeysuckle, orange blossoms, ruby grapefruit, white peach, and jasmine tea. The entry is both bright and mouth filling exhibiting refreshing acidity and roundness, opening to flavors of tangerine, lime, and lemon curd, lemongrass, ginger, white peach, and green apple. This delicious wine finishes clean and long with a lingering hint of lime.
Founded in 2010, Aviary Vineyards launched with the 2009 vintage of our Napa Valley Red Blend. That first vintage took advantage of tiny lots of different varieties from 13 different vineyards throughout Napa Valley.
The 2018 Aviary California Chardonnay is emblematic of the classic rich style we strive for every vintage. The wine starts lively with floral notes of hibiscus and warm baking spice, before proceeding to the mid-palate with an enticing texture of silky custard or flan. Notes of coconut and tropical fruits abound throughout: guava, pineapple and subtle notes of toasty vanilla bean. The wine finishes with a refreshing splash of tangy acidity complimented perfectly with some secondary hints of toasted hazelnuts. This wine pairs spectacularly with a bevy of main dishes, from roast chicken to creamy seafood pasta; but would also work very nicely aside an after-dinner cheese plate, or even crème brûlée.
Light Horse is a nod to the American West and to the invaluable horses that helped settle this vast and untamed region of the country. These are the wines you’ll turn to every day: classic, easy-drinking and fruit-forward California varietals that offer superior value and complement the foods you enjoy.
This enticing Pinot Noir possesses aromas and flavors of red cherry, cranberry, cassis and sweet spices. Elegantly structured with supple acidity and mellow tannins, hints of vanilla and oak linger on the palate and lead to a graceful finish.
With 30 years of expertise in grape varieties and vineyards in the south of France, Fortant has taken a new step in its perpetual quest for excellence in the know-how of blending terroirs. The house produces for the first time exceptional wines in appellations of origin controlled Languedoc. The Fortant Grands Terroirs range is born with 6 carefully crafted wines, exploring remarkable terroirs in Languedoc.
Aromas of currants, blackberries, and dark cherries combine with highlights of toasty oak and floral earth on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of currant, blueberry, and blackberry that open up into suggestions of rose petal, earth, and oak. Dark fruit and supple tannins.
As one of Lodi’s oldest farming families, they take a lot of pride in farming their vineyards both organically and sustainably. Integrity for the land along with responsible farming practices ensures that the wine grapes are of the highest quality for our wines. The family is involved from the vineyard to the bottle; growing, harvesting, trucking, winemaking and sales.
Inviting aromas of dark cherry, cola, cedar, mineral, and earth followed by a graceful mingling of cherry, cranberry and sweet oak flavors with a whisper of vanilla. On the palate, the rich mouthfeel is moderated by juicy acidity, and the long finish is reminiscent of a fine Bordeaux. This elegant and poised Cabernet is accessible now, and its structure and complexity will see it through many years of aging.
Ancient Peaks Winery represents the shared vision of three longtime local winegrowing and ranching families—the Filipponis, Rossis and Wittstroms. In 2005, the three families acquired ownership and control of Margarita Vineyard. The obvious potential of the vineyard ultimately inspired the three families to become vintners as well as winegrowers. They knew that they could cherry-pick their favorite blocks and make distinctive wines with a strong sense of place.
The 2017 Renegade comes from the estate Margarita Vineyard on the historic Santa Margarita Ranch. From missionaries to gunslingers, roughriders to outlaws, a colorful cast of characters has traversed the ranch’s rugged terrain since the 18th century. An intensely flavored blend that pushes the envelope, defiantly bold and daringly elegant. Loaded with enticing aromas of blueberry, blackberry, vanilla, sandalwood and savory tobacco. A rich, juicy texture reveals flavors of black cherry, boysenberry, cedar, cocoa and baking spice. A lingering jammy fruit character is joined by black pepper spiciness on a smooth, rounded finish.
Initially, the brand was called Four Bears because of their four children - three sons and a daughter. “Early on, we would convene at the kitchen table to taste various lots of wine, play around with potential blends and talk about what we liked and didn’t like. At one point, our 4-year-old likened this practice to the idea that we were like Goldilocks searching for just the right bottle”.
Wines are produced from premier appellations throughout California, sourced from vineyard sites strategically located near the cool, marine influences of the sun-filled California coast. With the help of a family friend and colleague, Will Bucklin, the initial production featured a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast Chardonnay, and Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc.
Fast forward to today - the children have grown up, the business has evolved and the name has changed (Sean Minor Wines). “Since we don’t own vineyards, we work diligently with sustainable, experienced farms throughout California and Oregon”.
The Nicole Marie Red Blend is deep ruby in color and displays aromas of ripe blueberry, dark cherry, cassis and vanilla. On the palate, flavors of blueberries and dark cherry combined with hints of oak spices that coat the palate. The soft tannins and sweet oak balance lead to a long and lingering finish.
A blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. “Super Tuscan” is a term used to describe red wines from Tuscany that include the use of non-indigenous grapes, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The creation of super Tuscan wines was a result of the frustration winemakers had towards a slow bureaucracy in changing the wine law of Italy during the 1970’s. Winemakers began mixing ‘unsanctioned’ wine varieties (like Merlot) into their blends to make high quality wines. The legal system eventually yielded in 1992 with the creation of IGT, a new designation that gave winemakers the ability to be more creative.
Intense ruby red color, intense aroma of oak and fruit. Characteristic flavor of red berries and plums with persistent oak finish. Gentle and harmonious, flavor of cherry and plum, fruity with oak finish.
Ideal to accompany roasts, chops and mature cheese.
This fine wine is mostly made from selected Sangiovese grapes from selected Tuscan vineyards with sandy, clayey and calcareous soil. Following the old traditional vinification method, completely mature grapes are harvested from vineyards and crushed almost immediately. The wine is filtered and stored at constant temperature in oak casks and small barriques for a minimum period of 12 months, in order to obtain warmer tones and colo Color: Intense ruby red color.