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Zocker Paragon Vineyard Gruner Veltliner 2009

Gruner Veltliner from Central Coast, California
  • WE90
13.3% ABV
  • WE91
  • TP91
  • WW92
  • TP90
  • WW92
  • WE91
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14 97
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3.0 2 Ratings
13.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The fruit for the Zocker Grüner Veltliner was grown in the Niven family's estate Paragon Vineyard in the Edna Valley on California's Central Coast. Soils are generally made up of Diablo series, clay loam, rocky marine sediment, and volcanic remnants. In a few portions of the vineyard however, clay loam is more prominent, which allows for more water retention. This, along with the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean and the extended growing season, makes the terroir here similar to areas in Austria where Grüner Veltliner reigns as the number one white varietal in the country.

Rich and round but with great acid structure, this wine is steely and has good minerality. It has a bit of an earthy characteristic, a note of white pepper, and flavors of ripe melon and fruit cocktail.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A beautiful wine with a spine of steel and trenchant acidity that demands savory, spicy foods. It's brilliantly ripe in mineral-infused Meyer lemon and spicy green melon, and while it's technically dry, has a rich, honeyed sweetness.Editor's Choice.
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Zocker

Zocker

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Zocker, , California
Zocker
Zocker Winery produces wines made exclusively from the white varietals of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. The grapes are grown on the Niven family’s famed Paragon Vineyard in the Edna Valley on the Central Coast of California, and the wines are made by veteran French winemaker Christian Roguenant. One of the latest projects of Niven Family Wine Estates, Zocker (Austrian word for Gambler) is likely their riskiest venture yet, as these varietals are far from conventional.

Horse Heaven Hills

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"Surely this is Horse Heaven!”

Its wide prairies and rolling expanses led an early pioneer to proclaim that the region looked like “horse heaven,” and as a result, the area was appropriately named. Horse Heaven Hills is in south central Washington state, geographically bound on its northern border by the Yakima River and in the south, by the larger Columbia River.

Its proximity to the Columbia River contributes to a variety of climactic factors that dramatically affect its grapes. In particular, an increase in wind from changes in pressure along the river, which flows from the cool and wet Pacific Ocean, inland to Washington’s hot and arid plains, creates 30% more wind than there would be otherwise. These winds moderate temperatures, which protect against mold and rot, reduce the risk of early and late season frosts, diminish canopy size and toughen grape skins.

The vineyards bordering the river are on steep, south-facing, well-exposed slopes, with well-drained, sandy-loam soils. But the soils of the appellation are diverse throughout, ranging from wind-blown sand and loess, Missoula Flood sediment, and rocky basalt. Horse Heaven Hills has an arid continental climate with elevations ranging from 200 to 1,800 feet.

The first vines of the appellation were planted in 1972 in an optimal spot now referred to as the Champoux Vineyard. Today it remains the source of some of Washington’s most desirable and expensive Cabernet Sauvignons. In fact, the appellation as a whole boasts many of Washington’s top scoring wines. Its primary grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

CVF102368_2009 Item# 107975

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