Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Wine: Andrew Murray Viognier 2011

Viognier is a great choice for a summertime beverage.  I had the pleasure of finally getting around to opening a bottle of Viognier that I purchased on my most recent visit to Los Olivos.  Andrew Murray’s Viognier is great as a summer sipper, but it also carves out a place at the dining table.

It’s a product of the Santa Maria Valley.  The grapes come from a block of Viognier planted especially for Murray.  The cool days and foggy nights which are common at the vineyard help get the grapes ripe without going crazy with the alcohol.

The grapes are whole-cluster pressed and the vinification takes place in stainless steel. The lightly tinted Viognier shows a fruit basket on the nose, with pineapple, mango, apricot and citrus fighting for attention.  Minerals are certainly present, as expected in a wine from the Santa Maria Valley.  The palate really shows the minerals, as well as the wonderful herbal edge attained through the whole - cluster press.  The sweetness of the fruit is tempered by lime zest.  There’s good acidity and a tart, pleasing finish.

I’d suggest that you run out and pick up a bottle, but that’s not possible.  The 2011 yield was limited and only 50 cases were produced - those are now sold out, according to the Andrew Murray website.

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