Hints of citrus and stone fruit dominate the nose of this White Rhône-style blend. The barrel-aged Roussanne and Grenache Blanc give the wine surprising weight that is countered by energetic acidity. This interaction creates lively back and forth between rich textures and bright flavors that keeps evolving. Just a hint of mild French oak fills out a delicate but enduring finish.
The Viognier comes from the Hoyt Family Vineyard located in the heart of the Willow Creek area. The Grenache Blanc is grown at the Live Oak Vineyard, the northern neighbor of Hoyt Family. The Roussanne comes from the Caliza Vineyard which lies between Hoyt and Live Oak. These Templeton Gap District vineyards offer the premier combination of chalky soil and cooler temperatures for producing balanced and nuanced white Rhône varietals.
The Viognier was picked at the earliest possible stage of ripeness then immediately gently pressed. It is cold settled for 2 days, then racked to a fermentation tank. It is stainless fermented and aged to ensure brightness and fruit. The Grenache Blanc and Roussanne are picked at much more advanced levels of ripeness for weight to balance the Viognier. They are de-stemmed and cold soaked on the skins for a day before gentle pressing and settling. The quick maceration extracts all possible flavors and mouthfeel compounds, but is performed in an oxidative state that cleans up the overly phenolic hints and off colors that can be produced from these two incredible, but challenging varietals. The musts are combined, co-fermented and aged in 20% new French Oak and 80% neutral French oak puncheons. All lots are maintained at 70°F to ensure a slow, gentle fermentation. After 4 months of sur lie aging, the puncheons are racked with the Viognier and the final blend returned to puncheons for 2 additional months before bottling.