Indigenous to the Rhône Valley of France, Viognier is a beautifully aromatic varietal that we are proud to have in our portfolio. With a climate similar to that of the Rhône Valley, we find that Viognier grows on our estate in such a superb fashion to make for an especially captivating wine.
Our 2020 vintage marks the second vintage wherein we specified a singular vineyard block – the Cushman E block – and chose to showcase the distinct flavors and characteristics of this beloved block. In Zaca Mesa’s infancy in 1973, the original rootstock bore Chardonnay grapes. Viognier was grafted on this rootstock in 1997 and has been its home ever since. Within the Cushman E block, we pick at varying brix ripeness levels to layer in vivid notes of citrus, stone fruits, and floral to create a captivating final blend. The intense aromatics and flavor profiles signature to Viognier develop in this block at lower brix levels, allowing us to pick earlier and consciously balance the alcohol, acid, and flavors. As a result, a complexly delicious wine emerges.
The 2020 Cushman Block Viognier is a dream. On the nose are delicate, layered aromas of dried apricot, mandarin orange, and honey blossom. As the wine warms slightly, hints of nutmeg and an ocean breezes make shy appearances. The palate is medium bodied with semi-high acidity, a wonderfully refreshing combination. Firm mango and a ginger-like spiciness kick off on the first sip and are tempered by a nicely rounded finish. Pair this wine with grilled white fish tacos, pan seared salmon, or blackened chicken – all dishes that go well with peach or mango salsas.