The Golden Ticket

A glorious Viognier. Not flabby or horribly viscous, definitely ripe and with understandable heavy body, but fresh and vibrant, the pale golden body reeking of greenery, pruned shrubbery, huge rolling lawns with the dull moan of a mower off in the distance. Crushed rose petals, almost-ripe lily blossoms and fruit running pineapple, clove, applesauce and papaya. There’s a whimsical spirit rising off it you KNOW will reflect structure, earthy and round, with just the *hint* of acid underneath the thick concentration this Rhone variety is famous for.

I mean–it’s viognier. You KNOW it is going to be rich and full, a decadence often far out-smashing Chardonnay in even its most focused renditions. Here we smell a beautiful oak programme laid into elegant, effusive rich fruit. But this version is not slutty.

Drinking it at a perfect 55°-60°, far too warm for most, but let me lecture one more time: YOU ARE DRINKING YOUR WHITES TOO COLD. You are stunting your tastebuds to the fullness of the wine below that, and if you are getting heat and awkwardness from your whites at these temperatures, you are drinking the WRONG wines. OK, sermon over, back to the wine: Light and beautiful entry-through-finish, a cheery acidity filing away at the chubby spots. But it is Viognier: it’s NOT light. Dense honeyed syrup plays against all the melon and heady tropical. Thick and red-wine-ish, tannin begins its bitter beat late-middle, and the seamlessness of the oak polishes and prods all components.

An absolutely GUZZLEABLE version of the variety, the guilt building up inside at consuming it so young. I think Viognier fans may be–aside from Riesling–the snobbiest and focused of all white wine fans, and if you are one of those people, I implore you to seek out this bottle. A tour de force.

2015 SPOTO Viognier Napa Valley 14.2

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