Leo Steen Wines Open House - Pick Up 11/3/18

Leo Steen Wines held their Open House Pick Up party on Saturday and I was able to stop in for a tasting of the wines. Owner - Winemaker Leo Hansen has put together an interesting array of wines, Chardonnay, Grenache, Syrah, Zin but the hallmark of Leo’s lineup is Chenin Blanc. There are three of them, all different in style and price. It is a pleasure chatting with Leo. He is passionate about the vineyards he work with and is very forthcoming on his style of winemaking and what winds up in the bottle.
For the past year Leo has operated a tasting room at 53 Front Street, Healdsburg. If you are in the area, stop in, chat with Leo and give the wines a try. Here are my tasting impressions of the wines.

2016 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains: The 2015 version was racy and energetic version of Chard. The 2016 is similar but a bit more focused. lemon citrus nose along with some floral notes. The flavors show green apple, lime, spice, minerals and a bit of smoke. Medium body with nice acidity and a creamy finish. 12.5% abv

2016 Chardonnay 80 Harrison Block Pine Mountain Cloverdale: This is a new vineyard for Leo and sits at 2200 ft elevation. Where the SCM Chard is about energy this chardonnay is more textured and layered in flavors. Citrus, floral aromas, flavors of golden apple, lemon oil, brioche, minerals and smoke. Moderate acidity, nice texture and body to this wine make for a lingering creamy finish. 13.5% abv

2015 Chenin Blanc Jurassic Park Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley: Leo loves Chenin Blanc and the Jurassic Park is the big dog of the trio of Chenin that Leo produces. The 2014 was a lovely version and is drinking very well right now. The 2015 is tight and will need some time to come together. Aroma of apple, chamomile and citrus. Flavors of lemon, bergamot, acacia flower, pear and a good dose of minerality. Good acidity, medium body, if you have any give them some time in the cellar to knit together and open up or if you do open one give it a decant. 12.5% abv

2017 Grenache Provisor Vineyard Dry Creek Valley: Lovely nose of macerated strawberries, Bing cherries, herbs and a touch of clove. Flavors follow the nose, mouth filling flavors of red cherry, strawberry and some cassis, sweet herbs and spice. Medium body, good acidity, some ripe tannin make this very appealing and drinking very well right now. 14% abv

2017 Zinfandel Meyer’s Hus Vineyard Dry Creek Valley: This is a new vineyard and wine for Leo. Speaking with Leo he mentioned he wants to do a “one off” wine with each release. He has a Cabernet Sauvignon coming in 2019 and the Meyer’s Hus Zin is this years one off. He also mentioned that this vineyard give small berries and he did not think they would survive the 2017 heat wave. He decided to pick early and make a different style of zin. This is not a complicated over the top zin. It is straight forward and delicious. Nose of red raspberry, currants and cherry. Flavors of ripe red and black cherry, some herbs and mint. Medium body and moderate acidity, versatile with food, drinks very well right now and at $25.00 a bottle won’t break the bank, Has the makings of a perfect cellar defender. 13.8% abv

2016 Cabernet Franc Santa Cruz Mountains Ascona Vineyard: This is not a new release but got a chance to taste it. Last tasted nearly a year ago, then it had flavors of blackberry, black cherry, cedar and flowers but needed time to knit together. Fast forward to Saturday and this wine is coming together nicely. Still has those cherry and blackberry but now those earthy herbal flavors are well integrated in the flavor profile. Has also picked up some lovely savory notes. 12.5% abv