Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2008 Crawford viognier

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on November 26, 2009:

Happy Thanksgiving! I have a few open seats at the table so let’s see who should I invite… a 46-year old barefoot TN man was arrested for stealing shoes from a store, but he didn’t get far as they were all fitted for left feet. A 23-year old NC man, after a night of drinking, went to a hot dog stand and demanded a hot dog and a drink for a dollar. When he was told it wasn’t enough money, he got into his car and rammed the hot dog stand twice before fleeing. Shortly after, he was arrested and posted bond. A 29-year old Louisiana man broke into a home to…steal jewelry?, take a tv set?, pocket some cash?…no, try he wanted to cook a meal. When police arrived, the oven and a heater were on and the man had been cooking and eating the homeowner’s food. A church in GA was robbed of expensive equipment for the fourth time in two years; this time a note was left that said, “Sorry but I’m poor.” Hmm, ya know I think I’ll enjoy this table for one and give thanks that I don’t live in the Southeast.

Yet another Alexandria Nicole Cellars wine has made it to my table this season! (Disclosure: I am not a wine club member at this time. Yes, pity me.) This bottle was picked up at their tasting room during their “9-9-09” special where the price was a cool $9.99, basically half-off retail. I scooped up all their white wines that day but they got even with me when I also purchased their “reserve” grenache and tempranillo bottles, the tempranillo being a star in an earlier review. Consider this another “Twitter” deal, where I scooped the “sale” info from. Jarrod and Ali have probably the most active Twitter account of all Washington wineries and is a delight to follow! Follow them at @ancwine.

The winery makes two versions of viognier: a brighter and drier Estate vineyard “reserve” that was aged 7 months sur-lees and costs 40% more, and this one a mix of Estate and Crawford Vineyard grapes. The 160-acre Crawford Vineyard is a 17-year old vineyard located just outside of Prosser in the Yakima Valley AVA and is owned by 3rd generation farmers, Charlie and Connie Crawford. The vineyard sits at an elevation of 1000 feet and is north-south planted on Warden silt/loam using a Geneva Double Curtain system to trellis the fruit. Red grapes are the dominant varieties. Ya know, we as reviewers do not give enough credit to the “non-sexy” vineyards of this Great Wine State. It’s so easy to croon about the Ciel du Chevals, the Klipsuns, the Bousheys, and the Red Willows, to name a few, but most of the wines at the lower price points are produced by long-time farmers that were growing produce long before Washington wines became the “in-thing.” It’s fun to discuss the spring blossoms, veraison, and harvest, but to be able to withstand looking out at nothing but rows of plants on an August day where the heat units are piling up but the grapes are far from picking, and the entire crop (the family’s income for the year) depends on a steady nurturing from Mother Nature…there has to be a passion to their farming that keeps them there for generations. It is a work ethic that is, imho, quite frankly lost in the big urban cities today. Thankfully, that dedication is discernible in a quality wine like this, and that’s what makes a good wine so enjoyable to drink.

Color: 14k gold. Nose: pears, peaches, apricots, green melon, fresh-cut Dole pineapple from Wahiawa–the terpenes are dancing on the floor of my nares! Mouthfeel: a package of tropical syrup about to erupt. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: peach-lemon tang, some minerally spritz, navel oranges, guava.

Columbia Valley AVA. Whole-cluster pressed and tank fermented. Vineyards: 72% Crawford, 28% Destiny Ridge. 2% rousanne. pH 3.56. TA 0.68%. Harvest brix 24.7. RS 0.78%. Alcohol: 13.95%. 168 cases. Rated: 91. Value: $23. Paid: $10. This is WAwineman…wishing you a great kickoff to a wonderful holiday season, and still uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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