The wine was paired with a tri-tip steak, potatoes and side garden salad. The food pairing recommendations for this wine are roast meats, game dishes (venison) and rich cheeses. When wooden barrels are introduced to Dornfelder it brings out the tannin and tends to minimize the fruitiness. It is mildly acidic and full body with a deep, deep coloring. This Prie 2018 Dornfelder went well with the tri-tip steak and flavors oozed out with the introduction of the meat. It provided wonderful flavor and acidity to compliment the dinner. After dinner with the second glass without food, it did not have the same appeal. I would definitely recommend this as a change up with steak or roast from the everyday Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc or others, to explore alternative varietals.
So what is Dornfelder?
Dornfelder is not a common household name for wine! Only 69 acres are planted in the California with 43 acres in San Joaquin County and 19 acres in Sacramento. That leave only 7 acres for the rest of the state. August Karl Herold (1902-1973) cross pollenated Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe (two German varietals) to make Dornfelder and was recognized by the authorities in German in 1979. He further went on to make Heggel and it was recognized in 1994 as a sister grape of Dornfelder. The grape name Dornfelder was in honor of Immanuel August Ludwig Dornfeld (1796-1869) who was a proponent and instrumental in creating the viticultural school in Weinsberg.
(Picture from Wikipedia)
As you can see this grape grows in small clusters with big dark colored grapes. Dornfelder is now the second most grown red grape varietal in Germany (who knew?). The typical flavor profile is dark on the eye, possess a velvety texture, slightly floral and definitely has dark fruit flavors (plum, blackberry, dark cherry) and is oaked. While typically dry to semi-dry, some can possess a sweetness. This 2018 Prie Dornfelder was aged 12 months in neutral French oak. It is 100% Dornfelder varietal and is from the Mokelumne River sub-AVA in Lodi. Currently it lists for $27.