Jeff’s Corner 8-16-17


Last Friday morning I went into the barrel room to set up, and was greeted by the most intriguing wine aroma I have ever smelled.  The air was rich with layers of yeast, honey, wildflowers, and vanilla; all from 12 barrels of Viognier undergoing fermentation.

What does barrel fermentation do for white wine?  Well, as opposed to a more controlled fermentation in large stainless tanks, it gives us greater complexity.  This comes from the oak, which yields a richer, creamy mouthfeel along with more aromas and flavor.   It also adds additional  texture to the finish.

After fermentation is complete, the wine will age in the barrel “sur lie”.  The lees are a rich sediment of dead yeast cells that settle to the bottom of the barrel when fermentation is complete.  Sur lie (pronounced “soor LEE”) translates as “on the lees” and will add even more layers of complexity.

Here’s a pic I snapped of these very same twelve barrels.  They are all new French oak.  This is costly on our end, but the resulting wine is well worth it.  After sur lie aging, these twelve barrels will be blended with our stainless steel fermented Viognier.

All this barrel talk, however, is really just a tease to introduce our new 2016 Viognier, which made its debut on the tasting bar last Saturday.  Saying goodbye to the stunning ’15 is hard, but it’s like finishing a book.  When you close the cover at the end, we open another and begin again.

Our new ’16 is 100% Viognier, with an ABV of 13.1%.  The color is a beguiling green/yellow with brilliant clarity that shines like a diamond.

Aromas and flavors are delicate and complex.  Sweet floral scents of Gardenias, butterscotch, and honey dance with fruit flavors of lemon, apricot, and peach.  As the wine opens up, it develops a full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel that is a hallmark of Jason’s style for this delightful grape.

The finish does not disappoint either.  Fruit and acid do a Tango, cloying at times and ending in perfect harmony, lingering long enough for an encore.  Our ’16 Viognier is great anywhere from 45-55*, more crisp at the latter, more rich at the former.  Lobster Thermidor or Crab au Gratin would be just about incredible with it.