Jeff’s Corner 6-7-18

Howdy Howdy Howdy

A major goal in my wine career has been to demystify it and make it simple, approachable, and enjoyable for everyone on any level.  I’ve also waged constant war on the elitism and snottery (a new word) that is often associated with this wonderful beverage.

Sometimes this isn’t easy, especially with the incredibly intimidating names of grape varieties and wine regions.  We have all struggled with pronouncing words like Pouilly-Fuisse, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Mourvedre, Gewurztraminer, and, of course, Viogner.

I have heard almost every pronunciation possible for Viognier (vee-oh-NYAY), and as you’ve probably figured out, today we’ll check out our new 2017 vintage.  It’s not a real beauty, it’s a real, real beauty, one of the best (in my opinion) we’ve ever produced, and the’16 won double gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

The origin of this curious name is somewhat shrouded in mist.  One theory has the grape being named after the French city Vienne, which served as a Roman outpost.  Much more fun, however, is that it took its name from the “Via Gehennae” or “Road of the Valley of Hell”, which was an allusion to the difficulty of growing these finicky grapes.

I first tasted it at a staff meeting a few weeks ago, and it was an interesting match with my bean and cheese breakfast taco.  I’ll have a more interesting pairing later.  I feel this all Texas ’17 Viognier is destined to be legendary, and it boasts a very healthy (for Jason) 14.5% ABV.

The color is a delightfully brilliant pale yellow/chartreuse, with a crystal clear rim.  Layers upon layers of complex aromas and flavors converge on a wine of near perfect balance.  Peach, apricot, tangerine, and mango dance with orange-blossom honey and fields of Texas wildflowers.

Our ’17 Viognier has a very rich mouthfeel, due in part to a small percentage having been barrel fermented and aged sur lie (on the dead yeast cells and grape sediment that result from fermentation).  This wine features a long, complex finish with a well-integrated progression of fruit and acid from our front to back palate.

Let’s try this lovely wine with a pan-seared fresh Redfish filet finished with a citrusy beurre blanc, some risotto (kissed with bit of this Viognier), and some sautéed sugar snap peas.

Happy birthday, Chelzee, zee Merlot is on the way…