WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

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WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Andrew Shults » Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:45 pm

I've lurked and drawn on this group's tasting notes long enough, so it's time I contributed something of my own:

Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve, US $13.99, Columbia Valley (I think), 12.6% alcohol

Spicy notes of ginger and cinnamon over lemons, mangoes, and passionfruit with late harvest sweetness. A bit of Fruit Loops meet Apple Jacks taste that walks a fine line between interestingly unusual and downright odd. The acidity is a bit lower than I would prefer, but not too bad. The producer suggests paring the wine with spicy food, and I agree. Any mildly-flavored food is going to get clobbered by this wine's intensity. I enjoyed it with a spicy stir-fry.

Note: tasted in late May & the winery no longer lists it on their website.
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:55 pm

Andrew, welcome out of lurkdom. And why in the heck have you been holding back when you can write TN's like that? I love this observation: "A bit of Fruit Loops meet Apple Jacks taste that walks a fine line between interestingly unusual and downright odd." Very evocative; and it sounds like a viognier-lover's viognier. Those of us not sold on the grape won't 'get it'.
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: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Andrew Shults » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:24 pm

Jenise,

Thanks for the welcome.

I wish I could say something interesting in all my tasting notes, but, sadly, some wines have nothing interesting to write about. This Viognier just happened to be a more inspiring example, so the July wine focus prompted me to register and post.

I have a bunch of notes that literally go from Aglianico to Zweigelt. I finally got serious about wine in the past 10 months and decided to explore (in a big way). I'll try to compile them into a couple of posts on main forum for everyone's searching pleasure.
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:32 pm

Andrew Shults wrote:I have a bunch of notes that literally go from Aglianico to Zweigelt. I finally got serious about wine in the past 10 months and decided to explore (in a big way). I'll try to compile them into a couple of posts on main forum for everyone's searching pleasure.


Andrew, adding to Jenise's welcome, we're glad you found your way here. We certainly don't have any required standard for TNs - there is no grading and no test! - I, too, really enjoyed reading your Viognier post and look forward to seeing more of your reports.
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:49 pm

Andrew said:
but, sadly, some wines have nothing interesting to write about.


This is true. When taking personal notes on such a wine, I write YIM ("Yup, it's wine") if it's weird in a boring way or if it's just plain boring I copy Jeff Grossman, who once could summon up no more than "eh" to describe a particular wine. As he made me realize, that's not only a tremendous labor-saver, it's actually useful information. :D
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Sue Courtney » Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:16 pm

Hi Andrew,
Welcome and interesting to read your notes on a late harvest Viognier.
I wonder if this is go to be a slightly new trend as Yalumba from South Australia has recently released a late harvest style, and so has Trinity Hill from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand - although in tiny, tiny quanitites at the moment. Do you know of any others?

I always remember Louisa Rose from Yalumba saying that Viognier is a variety that has to be watched in the vineyard.... that it is a late ripening grape and if the grapes were picked too early the flavours would be neutral (and this was apparent in Yalumba's early attempts with Viognier). One time they left them on the vine much later than normal and noticed something rather fascinating happening. Suddenly the ethereal chacacters, that the wines from Condrieu were known for, emerged. It was what they called 'the spike'. But at the same time, the sugars (that would eventually become alcohol) raced up and the acids dropped.

With the late harvest V's starting to be produced, I wonder if it is a case of letting the grapes go, letting the sugars come up, letting the grapes stay on the vine and start to shrivel while concentrating those flavours. This might account for the lack of acid in your wine.

I tasted the Yalumba Late Harvest Viognier 2005, which seemed to have supporting acid, however, and that could be achieved by either adding acid (which is a common practice in Australia) or having a proportion of grapes where the acid hadn't dropped (???). The grapes were grown in the more cooler Wrattonbully area of South Australia. Here's my note -

Yalumba 'Hand Picked' Late Harvest Viognier 2005 is a bright, clear, pale lemon colour in the glass. A tad of oak on the nose intermingles with honeyed yeast lees and apricot nougat while lemon honey abounds with grapefruit-infused raisin flavours in the palate. Passionfruit and dried pineapple linger on the bright, clean, luscious finish. It has $12% alcohol, a pH of 3.63, residual sugar of 155 grams per litre and total acidity of 7.8 grams per litre and costs NZ$22.95 (approx. US$13.90) for a 375ml bottle.

Cheers,
Sue
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Andrew Shults » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:55 pm

Sue Courtney wrote:Hi Andrew,
Welcome and interesting to read your notes on a late harvest Viognier.
I wonder if this is go to be a slightly new trend as Yalumba from South Australia has recently released a late harvest style, and so has Trinity Hill from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand - although in tiny, tiny quanitites at the moment. Do you know of any others?
...
With the late harvest V's starting to be produced, I wonder if it is a case of letting the grapes go, letting the sugars come up, letting the grapes stay on the vine and start to shrivel while concentrating those flavours. This might account for the lack of acid in your wine.


Well, today I saw a Late Harvest Viognier from Rosenblum Vineyards while shopping, but I don't know if they export from California to New Zealand. However, I passed it by when I saw a Tokaji two shelves down on half-price closeout. US$25 for a 6 puttonyos Tokaji (Dereszla 2000)? GimmeGimmeGimme! :D I can't afford $50, but $25 is an acceptable splurge.

I know that low acidity is a common problem with Viognier, so I wasn't terribly surprised when my Eola Hills was a tad low in acidity. I was still happy with it, but most wines in my price range have at least some room for improvement.

...

Jenise, I usually do the same thing in my notes for those uninteresting wines, except that I write "generic" instead of YIW.
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jul 10, 2006 4:05 pm

Andrew, welcome to the forum and excellent notes. I have been away on a convention and looking forward to getting back into the swing of things here. All we had in Red Deer, Alberta, was Jackson Triggs entry stuff. Nothing to get excited about!! The winestores sucked too!!
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Jul 10, 2006 4:13 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Andrew, welcome to the forum and excellent notes. I have been away on a convention and looking forward to getting back into the swing of things here. All we had in Red Deer, Alberta, was Jackson Triggs entry stuff. Nothing to get excited about!! The winestores sucked too!!


Bob, tell us how you really felt about it. Don't keep your opinions to yourself.

Good to have you back. Any Paul B. sightings?
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:30 pm

Paul B? Is he in Alberta right now?!!!
Jackson Triggs does have some nice wines but you know what conventions are like? At the banquet, there was one bartender for 250 people and a choice of one white or one red. Should have smuggled in the `02 Sparr Pinot Gris I had in my cooler in the trunk of the car!!
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:08 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Paul B? Is he in Alberta right now?!!!
Jackson Triggs does have some nice wines but you know what conventions are like? At the banquet, there was one bartender for 250 people and a choice of one white or one red. Should have smuggled in the `02 Sparr Pinot Gris I had in my cooler in the trunk of the car!!


No one's seen hide nor hair of Paul in a while. I assume he's on vacation. Alberta seems like a place he would go.

The Sparr Pinot Gris is always a good choice. I assume it was the reserve. That was my intro. to pinot gris. I never looked back.
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Re: WTN: Eola Hills 2003 Late Harvest Viognier Reserve

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:18 pm

That Sparr `02 was indeed the Reserve>have some left and will post some notes. Colour was quite developed and some nice botyritis. With the acidity one finds in these wines, they will cellar for a while. The `03 did not even come close.
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