Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine: Westbrook Wine Farm 2005 Viognier - Valdiguie, Simpson Meadow (Madera)

Westbrook Wine Farm

2005 Viognier - Valdiguie, Simpson Meadow

The Valdiguié grape, also known as Napa Gamay, but not to be confused with Gamay Noir a Jus Blanc as previously thought, is more commonly planted today in California than in its native southern France. Most of what producers here thought to be the Gamay Noir of Beaujolais turned out to be Valdiguié. Federal labeling laws with deadlines in 2007 for the phasing out of the erroneous “Napa Gamay” moniker will clarify things for consumers, if not make the wine easier to ask for.

With a high yield, reliable ripening, light fruit and brisk acidity, this black grape is easy to love, especially when transformed by carbonic maceration into a tutti-frutti, imminently gluggable Beaujolais Nouveau style wine.

This bright straw yellow wine is at first whiff like a California Chardonnay – buttery and very slightly oaky with apple and pear notes. However, it quickly begins to show its unique panoply of characteristics – banana, dried leaf, musk, lanolin, spearmint, and mango crème brulee aromas, and a clean, fresh peachy/lemony/buttery palate with a generous sweet and then very tart peachy finish. Kudos to Ray and Tammy Krause, owners of this off the beaten path winery, for their bravery in releasing this tough to market blend!

Reviewed December 14, 2006 by Catherine Fallis.

Other reviewed wines from Westbrook Wine Farm

Westbrook Wine Farm
Rosato Romantico
Catherine Fallis 12/14/2006

The Wine

Winery: Westbrook Wine Farm
Vineyard: Simpson Meadow
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Viognier - Valdiguie
Appellation: Madera
Grapes: Viognier (50%), Valdiguie / Napa Gamay (50%)
Price: 750ml $17.00

Review Date: 12/14/2006

The Reviewer

Catherine Fallis

Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.