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by Fred McMillin
for December 22, 1997
A Steele at $8.50
Prologue: Our 1996 Shooting Star Zin Gris is produced by a winemaking process the French call "by sang." The result is a true Rose (roh-zay), not a White Zinfandel.
...Jed Steele of Steele Wines
The Rest of the Story: Pink wines obtain their color by dissolving pigment from the red wine skins. The juice for White Zinfandel usually is left in contact with the skins for a few hours before they are completely removed. The result is the familiar light pink or blush color.
Jed didn't do that. The contact time was about 40 hours, creating a much deeper, "true Rose" color. Then, 20% of the juice is drained off and becomes the Zin Gris. The other 80% of the juice remains with the skins and becomes an intensely-flavored conventional red Zinfandel. Thus, four cases of red Zinfandel are made for each case of Zin Gris.
Postscript: Jed not only is one of California's best winemakers, he must be one of the smartest. Look at the titles of two papers he published with his U.C.-Davis prof R.E. Kunkee.
1) "Deacidification of musts from the western United States by calcium double-salt precipitation," Steele and Kunkee.
2) "Deacidification of high acid California wines by calcium double-salt precipitation," Steele and Kunkee.
Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf
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