2016 Estate Late Harvest Viognier
We originally planted a small plot of Viognier on our site to co-ferment with Syrah, a winemaking approach widely used in the Northern Rhone appellation of Côte-Rôtie to add floral notes and complexity. During the many-year process of waiting for our young Viognier vines to bear a reasonable amount of fruit to harvest, we kept bumping into the occasional late harvest Viognier. We love this style of wine, and decided that the Viognier grapes provided a great opportunity to round out our Belden Barns offering with a desert wine. When converting outrageously ripe late harvest grapes, the fermenting yeast get to a point when they pack their bags and quit working. As a result, some residual sugar is left behind. The alchemy achieved utilizing late harvest Viognier fruit, residual sugar and 100% new French oak is absolutely delectable.
Subsequent to the initial release of this wine in 2012, we had a couple of years where mother nature didn't cooperate an we weren't able to harvest late hanging Viognier (which was the case again in 2017 with smoke damage). We also had a vintage that we were able to harvest and make into wine, but it didn't stand up to what we loved about the 2012 vintage - so we declassified it and sold it off.
We are so happy to bring back this wine with the 2016 vintage. Those of you who were fortunate enough to taste our initial offering of this wine know what to expect......Nectar of the Gods with a clean, uncloying finish. A very balanced dessert wine, this effort brings a huge payoff in drinking pleasure.