2015 Terroir Viognier
The Hogue Cellars winemakers have created the Terroir line to showcase wines that are unique as varietals and that express the singularity of vineyard sites in Washington state. Made in limited quantities, the Terroir wines are sold only at the winery tasting room (also available by mail). The Viognier is one we have made before and it has always been a favorite with our customers. We deliberately let the grapes hang on the vine longer than other varieties. Viognier is slow to develop its lovely ripe floral aromas and it is necessary to keep the grapes on the vine past 24 Brix or even higher. In its native region of the northern Rhone in France Viognier grows on baking hot south facing slopes above the river where it ripens perfectly. One could imagine that it might be well suited to eastern Washington conditions. Here it develops melon and tropical fruit flavors overlain with a nice floral character. Try the Hogue Cellars Viognier with razor clams, perhaps some pan-fried cod and lemon butter, or even some rich creamy cheeses in place of dessert.
VINTAGE AND VINEYARDS
The 2014 vintage was the warmest in recent years. The summer was long and hot, punctuated by many 100F+ days. Grapevines endure through the heat just as we do, and on the very hot days they shut down and take a break from ripening. As a result, even though the growing season was quite warm, the grapes didn’t ripen much earlier than usual. The grapes were harvested from Doug Fries’ Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope east of Mattawa in early October.
The Viognier was machine harvested and the berries and juice conveyed direct to press on belts. Most of the wine was cool fermented in stainless steel tanks, but a small amount was barrel fermented in neutral French and American oak barrels. After the fermentations were complete, the wine was sulfited to prevent malolactic fermentation and the lees stirred periodically in barrel and tank to give the wine a creamy texture. On the nose, the wine has aromas of fresh peaches and white flowers. The peach flavors carry through on the palate, along with Meyer lemon and green apple. A pleasant creamy texture leads to a medium long off dry finish.
Harvest Date: September 19, 2014
Appellation: Fries Vineyard, Wahluke Slope
Varietal Percentage: 100% Viognier
Brix at Harvest: 27.4
RS: 0.24 g/100 ml (2.4 g/L)
TA: 0.58 g/100 ml (5.8 g/L)
Case Production: 172