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Zaca Mesa Viognier 1999

Viognier from California
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    This summer, Zaca Mesa submitted cuttings of its "Roussanne" vines to DNA testing which confirmed that our prize-winning "Roussanne" is actually Viognier. By the time this newsletter reaches you, no doubt you'll have heard plenty of news from the fallout these discoveries are causing other companies. Our Zaca Vineyards "Roussanne" has been an outstanding performer, winning awards and recognition since its introduction to our product line. And no matter its name, it's still a prize as far as we're concerned. While we feel the error in identification was made in good faith, to lessen confusion in the marketplace, Zaca Mesa is retrieving it's recently released 1999 Roussanne for relabeling as Viognier.

    In fact, the winery's production experience with its Roussanne and Viognier, along with the DNA results, has caused Zaca Mesa to change its belief about its Roussanne. According to President Jeff Maiken, "While we now know these vines are not Roussanne, we also know they are quite different from our other Viognier plantings, which leads us to believe that they are actually a separate and unique clone of Viognier," Maiken said. "The vineyard where the cuttings originated no longer exists, but this exceptional clone now resides at Zaca Mesa. Unfortunately, DNA testing cannot distinguish clonal variations."

    Stay tuned as this story takes shape in the future--and for now, enjoy our 1999 Roussanne...uh...make that Viognier.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Zaca Mesa

    Zaca Mesa

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    Zaca Mesa, California
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    Established in 1973, Zaca Mesa is a family owned and operated winery with a long-standing history in Santa Barbara County. As the first vineyard to plant Syrah in the area in 1978, Zaca Mesa has since helped pioneer the Santa Barbara Rhône movement through an unwavering dedication to Syrah. Combining traditional Old-World winemaking practices with innovative farming and vineyard techniques, Zaca Mesa continues its legacy as a producer of high quality California Rhône-style wines that are true reflections of the vineyard and appellation.

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    California

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    Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

    Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.

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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.

    HEI2965044_1999 Item# 28111