Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Calera Wine Company 2006 Viognier, Estate (Mount Harlan)

Calera Wine Company

2006 Viognier, Estate
(Mount Harlan)

Like the queen of aromatic wines, Riesling, I believe Viognier has unique characteristics for terroir differentiating appellations, or vineyards within an appellation. Somehow aromatics speak (sing!) more clearly than any other natural component of wine, and their voice can tell us a lot about where they hail from. From Virginia to British Columbia, Michigan to Texas, Viognier sings in a wide range of voices. Calera’s Josh Jensen, who is unquestionably one of the greatest Pinot Noir choirmasters on the planet, has tuned his Mt. Harlan Viognier to the fineness of a soprano-rendered Ave Maria.

I confess that I love this scented grape in pretty nearly all its perfumy voices, from hefty Sophie Tucker, to sultry Marilyn M, to raspy Eartha Kitt, and even the disjointed-sweetness of Joni Mitchell. To be sure, the grape can be as schizophrenic as a Dolly duet with Pavarotti. But this Calera ‘06 is singularly angelic. I’ve simply never tasted a more “pure” substance. I don’t know where JJ hid the alcohol; somehow he’s found the sweet spot here without any over extraction or raspy heat. It is exactly the same wine in the nose and on the palate…delicate rose petals and honeydew melon, with long minerality to finish. Demure, but poignant…all innocence and grace. Score this one as heavenly as Victoria Taranova’s Ave Maria. And, will somebody please check the elevation on Mount Harlan!

Reviewed June 9, 2008 by Roger Dial.

The Wine

Winery: Calera Wine Company
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2006
Wine: Viognier
Appellation: Mount Harlan
Grape: Viognier
Price: 750ml $28.00

Review Date: 6/9/2008

The Reviewer

Roger Dial

Under various hats (winegrower/maker/negotiant/writer) Roger Dial has been tasting wine professionally for 40 years. He regards varietal and regional diversity as the best virtues of wine, and is ever-suspicious of the quest (by producers and critics, alike) for “universal greatness”. His tasting regime is simple: Is the wine technically sound? Is it interesting? Warning: he’s a sucker for all aromatic varieties.