3 Steves Winery
One of the relative newcomers on Greenville Road in Livermore, 3 Steves continues to impress the wine community both in Livermore and around California. I met Steve Burman, one of the three Steve’s, the first week they were opened. As “one of the chief winemakers”, I was impressed with his intimate knowledge of winemaking and humbleness to talk about his learning of the craft. We became good friends discussing wine from around California and the world.
How 3 Steves Winery started was three friends (Steve Burman, Steve Melander and Steve Zigant), all in the wine business, wanted to own their own winery. They insisted on meticulously working their own vineyard as well as bringing fruit back to their winery. Thus their tagline “3 Friends Striving to Make the Perfect Wine”. They opened the property in 2013 after a few years producing wine at a custom crush operation.
For being opened such a short time, you would not think this list of accomplishments was possible:
- 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – 2015 Tri Valley Conservancy Uncorked Competition Best Sauvignon Blanc of Show
- 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – 2015 Tri Valley Conservancy Uncorked Competition Silver Medal.
- 2012 Livermore Valley Merlot – 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Best of Class.
- 2012 Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Silver.
- 2012 Cienega Valley Cabernet Franc – – 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Silver.
- 2011 Cienega Valley Ancient Vine Zinfandel – 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Best of Red Wine of Show. Their biggest accomplishment to date, this is the largest US wine competition in the world and this wine was voted Best Red Wine (Sweepstakes Award) over 5300 other wines.
- 2012 Chardonnay – 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Silver Medal.
- 2011 Cabernet Franc– 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Silver Medal.
- 2011 Cabernet Franc – Affairs of the Vine 2013 Cab Shootout Second Place Best Wine of Show
- 2011 Cabernet Franc – Affairs of the Vine 2013 Cab Shootout Gold Medal
- 2012 Sauvignon Blanc – 2013 Tri Valley Conservancy Uncorked Wine Competition, Best White Wine of Show
- 2012 Sauvignon Blanc – 2013 Tri Valley Conservancy Uncorked Wine Competition, Gold Medal
- 2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel – 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Silver Medal
- 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon – 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Silver Medal
- 2009 Zinfandel – 2012 Best of the Bay Zin Challenge Competition, Silver Medal
- 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012 Best of the Bay Wine Competition, Bronze Medal
- 2009 Zinfandel – 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Silver Medal
- 2009 Chardonnay – 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Bronze Medal
- 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Bronze Medal
- 2007 Cabernet Franc – 2011 Best of the Bay Wine Competition, Bronze Medal
They produce a few 100% varietals, but Steve Burman is definitely a “creative winemaker” in blending and extracting flavors from a variety of grapes. Take for example their 2013 “Three Brunettes” Blend made with Zinfandel, Merlot and Syrah – a unique wine with a deep ruby color.
An outstanding pair– I have from the start been a big fan of their Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Their 2013 Small Lot #1 Cabernet Sauvignon is from fruit on their vineyards and provides a robust nose, dark deep red fruit, followed by a mouthful of balanced tannins and complete covering of the palate. Their Cabernet Franc from Cienega Valley AVA, part of the Central Coast AVA, was an immediate favorite as soon as I smelled it! Once I sipped, it reminded me of a San Benito Cabernet Franc, a major winner from Léal Vineyards in Hollister (more in another article). This is a peppery, spicy and “thirst quenching” Cab Franc for sure.
So for my money, a stop by 3 Steves draws a “full house” (3 Steves and 2 Cabs) to be impressed. Also try some of the unique blends they offer. Here is a picture of Christian Kaack from Germany and I enjoying a sample of the fruits of their labor.
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