The 2014 Viognier Estate checks in as a new benchmark for me on California (and United States) Viognier. Bottled in August of 2015, it offers terrific notes of white flowers, honeysuckle, tangerine and apricot, with full-bodied richness, a layered texture and a great finish. This is a big wine, no doubt, but it stays lively, graceful and elegant. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. After the cool, and then cold, 2010 and 2011 vintages, 2012 through 2014 is a return to the more generous, layered and voluptuous style of wine that this estate is known for. Looking at the 2013s, this was a more elegant and firm vintage for most of the State, yet these wines from John are loaded with fruit and texture, with incredible polish, ripeness and sweetness to their tannin. While they were mostly tasted from barrel, they're already hard to resist and should drink nicely in their youth. The 2012s are classic, rich, concentrated and structured wines that also show incredible elegance and purity. John is a big fan of this vintage, and as I think the scores and reviews here so, I agree with him. In addition, while the greatness of the Syrahs is well known, don't miss the Grenache and Mourvedre releases from this estate. They're just about as good as it gets and John is able to get more concentration, depth and layers in his Grenache than just about every other winemaker in the United States. (JD)
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