The fruit for the Zocker Grüner Veltliner was grown in the Niven family's estate Paragon Vineyard in the Edna Valley on California's Central Coast. Soils are generally made up of Diablo series, clay loam, rocky marine sediment, and volcanic remnants. In a few portions of the vineyard however, clay loam is more prominent, which allows for more water retention. This, along with the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean and the extended growing season, makes the terroir here similar to areas in Austria where Grüner Veltliner reigns as the number one white varietal in the country.
Rich and round but with great
acid structure, this wine is steely
and has good minerality. It has a
bit of an earthy characteristic, a
note of white pepper, and flavors
of ripe melon and fruit cocktail.
Tasted side by side with Austrian GV and it held its own. California's version was much riper and showed much like a Napa Sauvignon Blanc: citrusy and bone-dry. But the hallmark white pepper remained. All in all, a pleasant surprise (I had my doubts) and a good, solid wine. Oh, and it's still pretty darn good a day later.
3.5 stars. Excellent medium-full bodied with the white pepper of a True Gruner, wrapped in sunny CA fruit