2008 Steele Shooting Star "Blue Franc" Washington Blaufrankisch

SKU #1053960

Unlike other Steele and Shooting Star red wine bottlings, our Blue Franc receives little, or no, oak aging. Some liken our Blue Franc, depending on vintage, to Pinot Noir in lighter years and Zinfandel in the riper vintages. Sometimes it is totally akin to a top-flight Gamay from Beaujolais. The wine is clean, crisp, and unpretentious with tons of fruit, including warm berry pie, complementing the traces of pepper, almond, cherry and cinnamon. Our Shooting Star Blue Franc has soft tannins, medium body, great color and is the perfect red wine to enjoy over the summer with any festive occasion. It is excellent with appetizers, cheeses, BBQ, and picnics. Recently we had the opportunity to try the Blue Franc on the deck with a toasted sandwich of smoked chicken, grilled onion, and avocado – quintessentially quaffable! Jed Steele

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Price: $13.99
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Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/30/2010 | Send Email
Walter Clore, the brilliant and idiosyncratic pioneer of Washington state viticulture, first championed the merits of Austria's native Blaufrankisch way back in the 1960s and 1970s. Believing the terrain, soils and climate were especially suited to this flavorful, aromatic varietal, he encouraged plantings in the Yakima Valley appellation, but for some reason it was designated as 'Lemberger', bringing to mind the famously ripe and lusty cheese of similar spelling. Not a good marketing strategy! So for years the grape languished in mediocrity, playing the obsequious role of a forgettable quaffer, until veteran California winemaker Jed Steele decided to give it an 'old look' (the French Franc banknote) and new persona. Calling it 'Blue Franc' in lieu of a name akin to 'smelly cheese' helped to liberate the lovely grape from its recent past and give it its place as a delightfully unoaked, festive wine, suitable for virtually any occasion calling for a smooth, luscious, spice-laden, medium-bodied red to complement much of what we call postmodern California cuisine. And by the way, the price to quality ratio is laughably low!

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United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5