Zaca Mesa Winery2005 Viognier, Estate
(Santa Ynez Valley)
After a period of winemaker musical chairs at Zaca Mesa a few years ago, veteran
Central Coast winemaker, Clay Brock (formerly at Edna Valley Vineyards) took the reins at the
winery, quickly sized up the potential, encouraged the ongoing replanting of the estate vineyards
and, last but not least, began crafting delicious user-friendly Rhone style wines.
The Zaca Mesa Viognier is consistently one of the best of its type in the state, but let’s keep that as our little secret, eh? The 2005 version is pale straw in color, with aromatics that include florals, like orange blossom, white gardenia and honeysuckle, mixed with fruit aromatics like white peach, Asian pear, lychee nut, Mandarin orange and quince. I could go on but seriously the nose on this thing makes it seem like an exotic perfume; hey, dab a little behind your ears before you go out and I think you’ll certainly get noticed.
On the palate, it’s probably softer and more honeyed than last year, but also more mouth filling. Flavors of ripe nectarine and peach skins, along with dried apricots and lychee nut, are in the mix, as well as minute bits of other fruits and florals that are well integrated into a complex whole. The ripeness level gives the impression of sweetness but the finish is crisp and dry. Every year I tell the folks at Zaca Mesa they need to raise the price of this wine; it’s certainly comparable to a $25 or $30 Viognier. Fortunately, they never listen to me.
Reviewed October 11, 2006 by Dennis Schaefer.
Other reviewed wines from Zaca Mesa Winery
Zaca Mesa Winery
2005 Roussanne, Estate Grown & Bottled
(Santa Ynez Valley)Laura Ness 1/21/2008
Dennis Schaefer has been tasting and writing about wine for over 30 years, propelled by a continuing curiosity and burgeoning enthusiasm for discovering what’s in the bottle. Blessed with catholic tastes, he enjoys everything from the obvious to the sublime. A major requirement is that the vineyard, winery and winemaker consistently perform well and fulfill their potential. Balance, concentration and complexity are key to the tasting experience but, in the end, the purpose of wine is simply to give pleasure.