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Terre Rouge Shenandoah Valley Viognier 2000

Viognier from Sierra Foothills, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    A great follow to our 1999 Viognier. Our Shenandoah Valley Viognier is planted in loamy, decomposed granite soil and cropped carefully. It has great body, richness, and mouthfeel. There are also attractive apricot and peach flavors with delicious texture and a slight stoniness in the finish. The pit (stone) fruit varieties thrive in our Rhone-like climate. We pick the fruit by flavor and physiological maturity. The grapes begin to get brown mottled look when they approach maturity. We have planted more Viognier in some exciting new sites, but for the time being this is our top bottling. One of France's top boutique Condrieu producers called our Viognier the best in the New World! Whole-cluster pressed, barrel fermented in older French oak barrels, extended lees aging, never racked, and full malolactic fermentation.

    Alcohol: 14.5%

    Critical Acclaim

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    Terre Rouge

    Domaine de la Terre Rouge

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    Domaine de la Terre Rouge, Sierra Foothills, California
    Terre Rouge is located in California on the West Slope of the Sierra Nevada in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley. The wines are made from vineyards in four Sierra Foothill counties: Placer, El Dorado, Amador, and Calaveras. They also source fruit from one vineyard site in the soon-to-be new Clements appellation.

    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.

    Sierra Foothills

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    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.

    Viognier

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    Full-figured and reminiscent of a potent floral perfume, Viognier is the mandatory grape of the northern Rhône appellation 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 world with some degree of success, but is perhaps at its best outside of France in Oregon, Washington, and cooler parts of Australia, where minerality and acidity can be achieved to give the wine the backbone it can sometimes lack.

    In the Glass

    This is a heady, aromatic variety making rich, complex, and full-bodied white wines redolent of a floral bouquet and assorted stone fruits and tropical fruits, with a hint of spice not unlike that of Gewürztraminer. 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 gutsy food like pork loin with apricot stuffing, chicken Kiev, or rich, spicy fare.

    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, made otherwise from Syrah. 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.

    CHMTRR130_2000 Item# 42114