WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

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WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:50 am

With friends visiting from California, we tasted eight viogniers single blind (bagged, but not unknown) out on the patio last night. Four were from Washington state (the only four I could find on a three store search), two were from California, one each were from Idaho and South Africa. The results were that we essentially liked two quite a bit and didn't care much for the other six. There was no third place, in other words, though I thought a couple would at least rate a 'C' from someone who likes viognier better than we do. My guests (words in quotes are their descriptors), it turned out, were no more 'into' that grape than I am. Strangely, two were bretty; I so rarely run into that in whites.

Anyway, the wines:

A) Floral, honey, stuffy old lady perfume, more RS than we tolerate, oily finish, light on acid--essentially, everything I hate about Viognier. C-. 2004 Mt. Baker Vineyards from Yakima Valley (WA) grapes. 13.6 abv, $11.

B) Extra pale. Bretty, "cabbage", "durian", minerals, good acid, dry limeade finish, "watered down squirt". C-. 03 Terra Blanca, Yakima Valley, WA, 13.5% abv, $17.

C) Green-gold. Good acidity, citrus peel, pineapple and green apple. C+. If we had bothered with a 3rd place, this would have been it simply because it had some acid and didn't have any off flavors. Jewel (a Woodbridge product), California. 13.6% abv, $12.

D) Very, very attractive nose, sweet and exotic but not cloying or strange. Banana, green gauge plum, pear, white pepper, chalky minerality, diesel, great delineation of flavors, excellent and elegantly balanced, hypnotically complex. Stunning, in fact. A real, "So maybe THIS is what viognier is supposed to be?" moment. My first place wine; and everyone else's 2nd place choice (but what do they know :) ). A+. 2004 Whitman Winery (Columbia Valley). $23. A big thanks to Bucko for recommending this.

E) Pineapple sherbet and washed rind cheese nose, "euw", very bright acidity, clean , crisp, limade finish (a recurring theme), "Clorox clean". C. 2005 Foundry, South Africa, 14.5% abv. $10.

F) Bright yellow. Very recognizable viognier nose but where we didn't like that in wine A, we liked it here. It wasn't stuffy, and had more fruit than flowers. Fresh, ripe pears and star fruit, some lavendar, moderate/adequate acidity, sunny--rather chardonnayish, in fact, but in a good way. B. 2005 McManis, California, 13.6% abv, $8. First place with Bob and the visiting California chardonnay lovers.

G) Light gold. Big brett nose, sweetness overwelms the acidity, simple, candied syrup flavor. Yuck. D. 2004 Maryhill, Columbia Valley, WA.

H) A junior version of wine #B with a cheesy, overripe nose. D. 2003 Sawtooth Viognier, Idaho.

Anyway, an interesting tasting with a lot of really unworthy wines. And it was the result of a pretty unproductive search for viognier. Which in itself is telling: the paucity of viognier options suggests that nobody sells viognier because there's little demand for it, but no wonder there's no demand for it when all consumers have to choose from is crap like this! The Whitman I was only able to get by special order, but in fact I ordered three wines that Bucko recommended and this was the only one that came in. But thank goodness for that one wine, because it showed me what's possible.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby James Dietz » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:09 pm

Well said, especially the last paragraph....

`Jenice's been looking for Viognier in all the wrong places... "
Cheers, Jim
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:11 pm

Find thee a bottle of Whitman, Jim. My score was sincere. There are, admittedly, times when I ask myself "Is this really that good, or am I just grateful?" The answer it usually a little of the second--but not this time. The wine was simply THAT good. I'm even going to order some more!
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby James Dietz » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:20 pm

Jenise.....I looked.. nada.. Wine-Searcher yields not a single hit!!!

I'll have to wait til we venture up way north to find some....as much as I love Viognier, I'm very curious to try it..
Cheers, Jim
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:43 pm

There you go Jenise!! Good effort in seeking out the wines, many of which I have never heard of. That is what makes this months topic errrrr fun. Pity most of them were clunkers, although I can appreciate the McManis comments> I enjoyed it too when it came out.

Perhaps I should mention that I have just opened the `05 Clay Station, you missed out on this one he-he.
Any shorebirds moving south yet?
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:03 pm

Jimmy, when my ship(ment) comes in, I'll put your name on a bottle.

Bob--no, no south-moving birds that I've detected, just the usual local suspects.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:22 pm

Jim Dietz: I ordered the viognier on Monday. Will bring a bottle down for you on my next trip (September). I think you'll be very impressed. It's the most complex viognier I've ever had (yeah, I know, I haven't had that many, but still I know complexity when I see it).

And a general note to file:

I went to a trade tasting on Monday where Terra Blanca was pouring wines, and I both tasted their 04 and told the rep about my bretty 03. He couldn't imagine the latter, but I don't think he understands brett very well. Anyway, the 04 was very good. Brighter, and with better balance between fruit and acid (I think 04 was a cooler vintage). And then last night I pulled what was left of the 03 (opened six days earlier) out of the fridge. Yup, brett. No question.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Sam Platt » Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:46 pm

I have tasted eleven different Viogniers over the years and liked a grand total of two: the 2000 Smoking Loon and the 2003 Fess Parker. Of the other wines two were heat damaged, the others ran the gamut from sour to overly-sweet to "tastes like Gator-Ade with dirt in it". Viognier is another wine that I tend to avoid.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby James Dietz » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:00 pm

Jenise... very cool... I'm afraid of what the consequences might be, though, if I find a Viognier that is better than the ones I already like!!! You will have to accept responsibililty!

Re: the Fess Parker Viognier: I haven't tried this one, but I am hearing so many folks mentioning it here and elsewhere, that I am going to have to put my "Sideways" prejudices aside and try it.
Cheers, Jim
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:29 pm

Sam Platt wrote:I have tasted eleven different Viogniers over the years and liked a grand total of two: the 2000 Smoking Loon and the 2003 Fess Parker. Of the other wines two were heat damaged, the others ran the gamut from sour to overly-sweet to "tastes like Gator-Ade with dirt in it". Viognier is another wine that I tend to avoid.


Stay tuned Sam!! Gonna give the `04 Renwood a shot despite varying tasting notes posted all over the place.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:46 pm

James Dietz wrote:Jenise... very cool... I'm afraid of what the consequences might be, though, if I find a Viognier that is better than the ones I already like!!! You will have to accept responsibililty!

Re: the Fess Parker Viognier: I haven't tried this one, but I am hearing so many folks mentioning it here and elsewhere, that I am going to have to put my "Sideways" prejudices aside and try it.


Jim, no responsibility accepted--uncork at your own risk!

Re the Fess Parker, here's a note a friend posted on the Canadian board just yesterday: " 2003 Fess Parker Viognier, Santa Barbara A very good wine, not as big and fruity as some but subtle and complex. No old lady aromas... Sadly, quite a bit of oak. "

Notice the "old lady aromas" part? Same guy called it "Ponds Cold Cream" in another viognier TN. Made me laugh--I knew we were talking about the same thing.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:18 pm

Canadian board?? Where is that Jenise?
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:00 pm

You know it; I'm sure you're registered. http://www.winefanatic.ca
Last edited by Jenise on Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Bruce Hayes » Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:07 pm

Jenise wrote:You know it; I'm sure you're registered. http://www.winefanatic.ca


I just clicked on the link you provided and got an error message.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:15 pm

The site's down a lot, Bruce, dunno why. But it always pops back--try again.
Last edited by Jenise on Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Bruce Hayes » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:53 am

Thanks Jenise. Will keep trying the link.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:00 pm

Bruce, it just occurred to me that the period at the end of the sentence was being interpreted as part of the web addresss. I edited the periods out, and the links work. Try again.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Bruce Hayes » Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:52 pm

Jenise wrote:Try again.


I'm in. Thanks.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:03 pm

I`m in too...just what I need, another b.... forum!! But Mishy is involved so I am game.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Mishy M. » Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:48 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:I`m in too...just what I need, another b.... forum!! But Mishy is involved so I am game.

Ohh, you've heard of my torrid legacy :P :D
Damn Viognier :) :lol:
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby DebA » Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:56 pm

Jenise wrote:There are, admittedly, times when I ask myself "Is this really that good, or am I just grateful?"

_____________________________

Oh my, I'm new to drinking viogniers, Jenise, and was wondering if you had personally tried the following: Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2005 and Zaca Mesa Viognier 2005. I recently ordered a bottle of the Yalumba Y Series but the retailer had to end up substituting the Zaca Mesa 2005 before shipment as he couldn't aquire the Yalumba. I am not familiar with either and know I'm taking my chances, but that is also part of the fun of discovery to me. It's just that considering the percentage of successes you had out of eight bottles, I guess it will be very interesting to see how I like the Zaca Mesa Viognier! :cool:
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:04 am

If I might pop in here, the Y series Viognier is always a consistent product and is very gluggable on the patio or around the pool. I have purchased every vintage since `00 and have never had a bad bottle of wine. It is a good into to the varietal!! 16.00 Cdn.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:18 pm

[color=darkred]Oh my, I'm new to drinking viogniers, Jenise, and was wondering if you had personally tried the following: Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2005 and Zaca Mesa Viognier 2005. [/quote]

Deborah, yes I've had Yalumba Y in the past and though not the 05, if it's true to style the wine is less ripe (so, more acid and less perfumey) than most American viogniers, and I believe it's an unwooded wine to boot. Very refreshing, and it competes at the McManis level. The Zaca Mesa I've not had in years, but that winery on the whole goes for a juicy, fruit forward style and if I've understood the weather in that area correctly, 05 should have been a good year for viognier. FWIW, the best $10 or under viognier I've probably ever had was by RH Phillips, another California winery but this time from the Sacramento area (I can't think of the name of the region, might be Dundee Hills). Others have spoken well of it in other vintages so I know they're fairly consistent. Would be one to try if you can get your hands on it.
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Re: WTN: Jenise buys eight viogniers, loves one

Postby DebA » Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:53 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:If I might pop in here, the Y series Viognier is always a consistent product and is very gluggable on the patio or around the pool. I have purchased every vintage since `00 and have never had a bad bottle of wine. It is a good into to the varietal!! 16.00 Cdn.


Thanks for adding your insights, Bob, no problem popping in at all! The tasting experiences of everyone are always welcome and I appreciate it. I am definitely still going to track down the Y series! :cool:
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