Bright and fresh, our Viognier opens with fragrant orange blossom and fresh nectarine aromas. The clean, angular style continues through the palate, picking up succulent white peach and apricot notes as it develops. The fruit persists through the long, vibrant finish, accented by a cleansing bite of clementine.
Fruit for this exceptional Viognier comes from notable vineyards in Alexander Valley, Napa and Sonoma, particularly Robert Young and BV 9 where consistent summer heat helps develop pleasing acid and complex flavors.
The extended drought caused concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. Following a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, in mid-September. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter vintage of 2015, and the extended mild season helped balance the acids and add complexity to the fruit.
The seductive beauty of Viognier lies in its fresh, dancing aromas and vibrant flavors. But on the vine, the grapes can be rather difficult, demanding ideal conditions and carrying considerably high tannins in their skins. Therefore, winemaking becomes a test of patience, requiring careful coaxing to retain the bright fruit and citrus notes without the tannic bite. We began by destemming the grapes and holding them on their skins for one hour prior to pressing. This extended skin contact gently extracted the natural enzymes and optimized the aromas in the grapes. Gentle pressing with minimal rolls further curbed any tannin extraction, followed by a cool fermentation at a cool 55° F for 32 days in stainless steel. This long, slow fermentation retained the delicate aromas and flavors, capturing a bright, fresh style