Saturday, November 5, 2016

Brennan Vineyards - 2015 Cellar Select Viognier

Brennan Vineyards - 2015 Cellar Select Viognier

Composition: 100% Viognier from the Comanche Vineyard in Comanche County

Price: $25 at 4.0 Cellars in Fredericksburg

I nerded out on this one!  The Brennan Vineyards Cellar Select Viognier is one of the first "orange" wines commercially made in Texas.  No oranges used, all Viognier.  Orange wines are a style of white wines where the grape juice is left in contact with the grape skins for an extended period during fermentation.  Five days of skin contact for this wine.  This process more closely matches how red wines are made, as opposed to a press of the grapes then fermentation of the juice that's traditionally done for white wines.  This different process gives a white wine deeper color, more body, some added flavors, as well as pronounced tannins.

Notes:  Lots of citrus.  I thought of that Pellegrino  Aranciata soda (bright citrus flavor with some minerality) when it was on the cooler side.  As it warmed I got lime, ripe yellow peach, transitioning to white peach, followed by a little almond.  Bright acidity with lingering tannins on the finish.  Full body, and a big 15.3% ABV for a white wine.

Check out that color at the edge!

Having a wine like this available exhibits the growth of the Texas wine industry; where producers are willing to take a chance to bring something unconventional to market with the encouragement that there are enough engaged consumers that are interested in trying something a little different.

If you'd like to learn more about orange wines check out Wine Folly's excellent article All About Orange Wine.

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