Terre Rouge Shenandoah Valley Viognier 2000
Terre Rouge's style emphasizes deep color, balanced flavors, full middle palate, and a long finish, with power and finesse. These wines gain complexity with age. Their goal has been to make the finest wines possible from the region - wines that transcend time and place and can be placed on the table with the best wines of the world.
President and Winemaker Bill Easton has been in the wine trade for over 30 years, not only as a winemaker, but also as a wine retailer, importer, and vineyard consultant. He has been handcrafting Terre Rouge Wines since the mid-1980's. Bill brings his well-honed palate to the table each time he makes one of our wines. He has an uncanny ability to create wines that express both power and finesse. He is not satisfied by making wines that are just well extracted, but strives to craft wines of nuance and complexity.
Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.
Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône Blends and Barbera are also important regional specialties.
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.
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.
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.