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Alta Viognier 2015

Viognier from Napa Valley, California
    14.6% ABV
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    14.6% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Viognier is a wonderfully aromatic varietal of the Rhone Valley. The Alta Napa Valley Viognier is a classic representation of the elegant, floral varietal. Moderate climate and cool breezes are the perfect components to accentuate its delicate lush aromas and display a hint of mineral texture that makes this wine perfect for summer. Layers of freshly cut honeysuckle and meyer lemon fill the palette, leaving a trace of French oak on the finish. The wine was made for early consumption, but the acidity and aromatic sophistication should last for up to a decade.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Alta
    Alta, California
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    Alta Napa Valley is a small family owned and operated vineyard and winery high atop Atlas Peak in the Napa Valley. Founder, Fred Oliai, first laid eyes on the 90+ acre property in 2008 and instantly saw the potential of the vineyard. Alta prides itself on hand picking and gentle fermentation techniques, which are both essential to creating outstanding artisan wines.

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    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

    The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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    Viognier

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    Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône, and the only one allowed in Condrieu and neighboring monopole (an entire appellation dedicated to just one winery), Château Grillet. It is also a blending variety in several appellations throughout the entire Rhône Valley. Viognier is grown throughout much of the rest of the wine world with some degree of success. Look for great New World examples from California, Chile, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.

    In the Glass

    This is an aromatic variety making rich, complex and full-bodied white wines redolent of a full bouquet of flowers, stone and tropical fruits and a dash of spice. It is lower in acidity than most white wines, lending to its heavy impression on the palate. While a whiff of Viognier might suggest sweet flavors, these wines are typically quite dry.

    Perfect Pairings

    Viognier is an intense, bold variety that can easily stand up to hearty food like pork loin with apricot stuffing, roasted chicken or chicken Kiev.

    Sommelier Secret

    While Viognier is a white grape, it also plays an important role in the red wines of Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône. About 5% Viognier is typically co-fermented with the Syrah in order to stabilize the color, and as an added benefit, add a subtle perfume.

    EPC35479_2015 Item# 414601