jaimetown; The '97 Calera Mt. Harlan Viognier was an excellent example of that variety. Lots of rich fig, apple, and melon flavors w/a tremendous finish. Paid $37 at the restaurant here in Louisville a couple months back. Good stuff - I'll bet the '99 is as good, too.
Jones- Why do you say drink the Calera right away? At HdR last month Calera was pouring their 94 Mt. Harlan Viognier out of 750 and it was as fresh as a new Viognier for most wineries. Calera is very well known for their age potential Viogniers.They are best consumed at 8 years of age.
I am of the opinion that Viogniers don't age well at all. Theoretically, Chateau Grillet can age but other than that wine I would never recommend any one to lay down Viognier for any length of time. Personally, I would not age Chateau Grillet either. To my palate, Calera Mount Harlan Viogniers does not need any where near eight years to mature. The only aging most Viogniers need is the time the wine sits in your trunk while you drive home from the wine shop. Plus, this bottle's provenance is far from certain. I would drink it up.
Jones- I would agree with you that 99.999% of ALL viognier is best drunk young (within a year of vintage date). I do know from experience that Calera can and should be aged, but I agree that the question of provenance is a very good reason to drink up this particular botle. Calera Viogniers when consumed young are extremely mineraly and that fades with age.
Otisabdul- Like I said above I agree with this opinion on most Viogniers but I was specifically speaking to the wine in question, which is Calera viognier.
Viognier is one wine that I really know and I know that I like Calera with age. To each his own.
The only difference between the 94 and a 99 or 00 was that the nose was much more muted. The flavors were just as any good or great young Viognier would be except they were more complex. It is a treat to have.
Well folks, I finally cracked open this bottle last night. Initially the wine was pretty tightly wound - aromatically and on the palate. In about 20 minutes it started to open up and I got aromas of very similar to that of a heavily oaked chardonnay - not what I expected. On the palate the wine was rich, yet a little flat - it didn't have the weight in the mid-palate like I would've expected, and the finish was bitter and flat. On top of it all, there was a petroleum-like taste and aroma lurking underneath the weak fruit. Overall, a disappointing show. 78pts.
jaimetown; Sorry to hear the Calera didn't live up to the expectation, but after all, isn't that what wine purchases are about - managing ones' expectations?
Getting back to the earlier posts, the '97 we drank exhibited a faint petrol aroma which as I understand is typical for viognier. The flavor profile included lychee, fig, and spice, with a oily, oaky finish. The oily taste was/is a compliment to the wine, IMHO, provided it doesn't resemble a freshly blacktopped road! I don't think Italian Wino had ever tried viognier to that point and needless to say it was a (good) eye-opener for him.
kybo - I did go out on a limb with this one - zero expectations on what viognier would be save for it being "exotic," and banking on the rep of Josh Jensen and Calera. You learn something new each time.
And if there are other people out there who enjoy that 'petrol' element of the wine, more power to you!
I agree with Kybo that the '97 we had together was a unique and positive experience. I had only tried Voigner once years ago, prior to that evening. Since then I have tried quite a few times. It went perfect with the chicken dish I had at the restaurant. Voigner is definitely an acquired taste that not everyone will enjoy. I personally am glad that Kybo introduced me to the Calera. So far it is the best one I have had. Beleive or not Georges Dubeouf (sp) Voigner is pretty good.
Had one glass of the '01 this past friday night and just loved it. Vivid and focused, with laser beams of floral and tropical notes balanced with minerality and the tiniest echo of herbaceousness (white pepper, perhaps?). According to the label, the yields for this wine were something like 1.25 tons / acre, which would explain the concentration.
Of course, I had just finished travelling from NYC to the Virginia countryside and had a raging headache when I sipped the Calera, so that's a pretty subjective TN. Luckily, there was a just-opened bottle of '83 Leoville-Proyferre waiting for me there as well.
[ 07-01-2002, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: Keith Scott ]
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