“An open letter to Jed Steele”

Dear Jed,

I’ve always been an admirer of your wines. Though they are not exactly ubiquitous in our market here in Nebraska, I’ve always felt that they are worth seeking out. I remember the first time I tried one of your wines: it was a “Blue Franc” blaufrankische in an airport wine bar about six years ago. I was immediately hooked. Since then, your Blue Franc has become an absolute favorite of mine, and I look forward to the release of the new vintage every year.

I remember a time in life not all that long ago when any bottle of wine that cost more than ten dollars was a splurge. Things are different today, and yet I remain conscious of the price whenever I’m looking at a new wine. When I think of your wines, the first thing that comes to mind is QPR, the Quality Price Ratio. Yours always stand out in this category, especially the single vineyard stuff, which is on par with any in terms of quality yet far less costly than most. Tonight I tried one of your single vineyard Pinots, expecting to be similarly pleased with it as I have been with others in the past. Jed, I was not.

The wine I had with our pork roast tonight was a 2015 Bien Nacido Vineyard Block N Pinot Noir. Jed, this wine is amazing. I said I wasn’t similarly impressed, because I was completely blown away, far more impressed even than ever before. The spice profile on this thing is amazing, Jed, with cinnamon and nutmeg playing with various raisin, black cherry and strawberry notes, then hints of dark chocolate and…and… Jed, I drink far too much wine, and this is easily one of the very best Pinot Noir I’ve ever had. It is intensely flavorful, undeniably rich, and yet absolutely true to the varietal as well. I don’t know how you put a wine like this in French Oak for a full year, make a few hundred cases, and then turn around and sell it for about thirty five dollars, but I’m sure glad you do.

After dinner we took a walk, and after the walk we put the kids to bed. (They had fallen asleep in the stroller anyway.) After that, we went out onto the front porch to finish this excellent bottle of wine. Thanks Jed, for tonight and for countless other nights in which we’ve wound down with a bottle of your terrific craftsmanship. You’re an important part of our household at this point, and we appreciate your contributions. Your fifty years of winemaking is an inspiration. Thanks for everything.



One response to ““An open letter to Jed Steele”

  1. Pingback: “Change of plans,” Steele Pacini Vineyard Zinfandel | itheewine·

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