This is a beautiful wine. Pretty sure you can’t buy it, but it speaks greatly to the quality of this little label of here-to-fore all Pinot and Syrah. Not exactly a shiner, this was a small hand-bottling of a leftover Syrah-addition that got a lab-label and hand-delivered by the winemaker. Not sparkling-clear, incredibly spicy and bright in the nose, it reeks of cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon grass, pretty florals and cellar-floor. Gone are any fantasies of heavy, robust Roussanne/Marsanne/Viognier Rhone-wine whites, this feels like a fine Chablis or Sancerre.
Tasting it solidifies these feelings, as the deftness of the acid lifts and lightens the heady mouthfeel. Bright and sharp, it on one hand quashes all those heavy-Viognier anticipations with its clarity and dancing lightness, but reinforces them as the signature of the variety digs its fingers into your skin. Sweet and stunning, gooseberry and lilikoi throw savory chunks of tropical sweat and grit in crazy directions–all balanced by incantations of barnyard on entry-nose. But it doesn’t get bogged down, turning rather to sharp briar and minerality alongside the cut and curve of ridiculous acidity and sprite. Meaty-dense in the lingering finish–a solid helping of tannin biting the fruity bollocks–you’re left with an awe-inspiring white in your glass that you kinda stare at in wonder, wondering whey we can’t have wine like this ALL THE TIME to fill our white-wine dating card.
2020 DELMORE WINES Viognier Old-vine Cienega Valley San Benito Co. Central Coast 13.5