2015 Estate Viognier
Constantly trying to improve our wines is a paradigm we live by at Cristom. In that effort, the 2015 Estate Viognier was divided into two separate lots: half of the grapes were whole-cluster pressed; and the other half of grapes were crushed into the pneumatic bladder press and then gently pressed. We were trying to understand the aromatic and palate differences of these different techniques and determine if we had a preference. The whole-cluster pressed fruit developed into a delicate wine with bright, refreshing acidity and floral aromatics. The crushed fruit was more defined by its phenolics with greater texture, weight and mouth-feel. The resulting 2015 Viognier is a blend of these two distinctly different lots and the combined wine takes the bright, floral aromatics from the whole-cluster fruit and the depth and mid-palate from the crushed fruit to form a complete and complex wine. Both lots were fermented using a combination of native yeasts and two commercial yeasts in neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel drums. Most of the barrels fermented dry and underwent a partial malolactic fermentation and then aged on its lees in barrel for nine months. It was then racked off its lees, lightly fined using Bentonite clay and finally filtered prior to bottling.
With a white flower bouquet redolent of honeysuckle and jasmine, barely perceptible sugar and a creamy mouth-feel from the partial malolactic fermentation and sur-lees aging, this is an enjoyable and serious food wine.