Denner Vineyards & Winery2005 Theresa
Denner Vineyards, an up-and-coming winery on the west side of Paso Robles, was established in the late ‘90s by Ron and Marilyn Denner. Most of the fruit from their beautiful, rolling vineyard is sold to other small producers – including Saxum, Linne Calodo and Villa Creek – but they keep some for their own label, which focuses on Rhone-style wines and Zinfandel. Their son Brian is the winemaker. A highlight of the lineup is this white Rhone-style blend – 70 percent Roussanne and 30 percent Viognier – named for Marilyn Denner’s mother.
The wine, which sells for $29, is fresh yet rich, with bright citrus nuances and a hint of wet stone accenting fleshy white peach and fig flavors. The 2005 vintage was the first one produced in the Denners’ state-of-the-art gravity-flow winery. Thirty percent of this wine was fermented in new French 500-liter puncheons and, to preserve the freshness and minerality, only about half of the blend went through malolactic fermentation. Denner Vineyards produces only about 3,500 cases a year, including 375 cases of the Theresa, so the wine may be hard to find, but it’s well worth the search.
Reviewed July 25, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.
Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.