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Wild Horse Viognier 2011

Viognier from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Historically, Viognier (vee-OHN-yea) has been an extremely rare grape variety, producing wines originally destined for fortunate members of European royalty. Prized for its alluring aromatics and hedonistic flavors, Viognier is now available to wine lovers everywhere. Using grapes grown on both our estate vineyard and in San Benito County, Wild Horse Viognier is a beautiful expression of this rare Northern Rhône variety.

    Critical Acclaim

    Wild Horse

    Wild Horse

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    Wild Horse, , California
    Wild Horse
    Located south of Paso Robles in Templeton, California, Wild Horse Winery was founded in 1983 by Ken Volk. Wild Horse Winery was named for the wild mustangs that roamed the hills east of the vineyard estate. These mavericks suggest a free, noble spirit and are the ideal symbol for the Wild Horse Winery commitment to spirited winemaking. The vineyard and winery location was selected for its low vigor soils, proven ground water table, proximity to Estero Bay and rural atmosphere. Wild Horse Winery creates compelling wines from 16 diverse appellations and more than 40 vineyards from the Central Coast. Wild Horse Winery is committed to sustainable viticultural and business practices and creating fine wines that express the best of the region’s diversity. "Live Naturally, Enjoy Wildly" reflects the attitude and personalities of the people who have been creating these wines for over 25 years.

    Other U.S.

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    From Alabama to Wyoming, each of the fifty US states produces wine—with varying degrees of success. Many of the colder northeastern states focus primarily on American or French-American hybrid varieties like Concord and Vidal, while Muscadine is the grape species of the warm, humid southeast. In Alaska, grapes are grown indoors in a greenhouse; other states specialize in fruit wines, like the pineapple wine of Hawaii. New York and Virginia have thriving wine industries, and New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Michigan, Idaho, and Ohio are all worth keeping an eye on.

    An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

    In the Glass

    Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

    Perfect Pairings

    Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

    CAR26471_2011 Item# 116274

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