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Tangent Paragon Vineyard Viognier 2008

Viognier from Central Coast, California
  • WE92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This wine is a rare example of cool-climate viognier; it shows off the flavors of the Northern Rhone region of France more than most California-made viogniers that tend toward the more lush, tropical side. It has flavors of apricot, white peach and hints of citrus, and sports a nice, tight mineral structure with higher acid. I love it with crab cakes or stir-fried pork.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Even though this wine is unoaked and inexpensive, it’s one of the best Viogniers out there. It shows the lean, drily crisp profile of Edna Valley whites, with wildly exotic flavors of citrus, tropical fruits, wildflowers, peaches, pears, minerals and vanilla. At this price, it’s a giveaway.
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Tangent

Tangent

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Tangent, , California
Tangent
Welcome to tangent, where pure flavor and alternative varietals intersect. And that’s not just an intriguing marketing phrase. Well, it is, but we really mean it. We start with grapes of intense varietal character, grown in the cool, temperate Edna Valley. Winemaker Christian Roguenant works his magic, and we ultimately bottle fresh, crisp and vibrant white wines. No Chardonnay in sight. Not that we don’t love Chardonnay; we do. An option is always welcome however, especially when it comes to eating. Most food seems to cry out for clean, lively wines with good acid structure. So we set out to find these wines, and realized there are few here in the States. We also found that no California winery was purely focused on alternative whites. And as our family has given us the incredible opportunity to create and manage new projects, we realized we really had something here. Something we could build for now, and for generations in the future. With our access to some of the best cool-climate vineyards – which is where most of these varietals thrive – we thought we’d be nuts not to give it a shot. Whether we’re nuts or not is a matter of personal opinion. But we do believe that tangent wines exemplify true varietal character and there is place for them on any table. We hope you give them a try and let us know what you think.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

WWH114015_2008 Item# 102512

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