What is Pinotage doing growing in the heart of the Stags Leap District of Napa made famous by the 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting? Well when your founder is Dick Steltzner you don’t necessarily play by the same rules as everyone else. Started in 1965 Steltzner is one of Stags Leaps premier producers in Napa especially know for their Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfortunately for us Pinotage lovers the vines at Steltzner are no more. Removed after the 2011 season to make way for more well known and profitable varietals.
That makes my remain few bottles all the more special and tasting this one tonight reminds me of just how good Pinotage from California can be in the hands of a great winemaker. Harvested in September 2007 at a brix of 26 this wine spent 18 months in French Oak and another 30 months in the bottle before being released in September 2011. Steltzner says enjoy through 2012 but tasting now in 2015 I would say this wine easily has another 5 years.
Dark ruby red in the glass with no signs of rim variation. The nose is full of black fruits, cedar and spice. A full bodied wine with great balance of fruit, tannis and just a slight hint of heat.
Pinotage is not currently listed on their website for sale so I’ll be calling in the morning to see if any stock remains for sale. I hope to add a few more bottles to my cellar.