Bonny Doon DEWN Central Coast Viognier 2003

First of all, it’s a mistake to even think about drinking this wine straight from the fridge. I mean, seriously? Cold, this wine tastes no different than that bottle of Inglenook Chablis that your Mom had in her fridge back in the 1970s: no smell, no taste, no nothing.Given enough time to warm back up again, this wine smells of beeswax, honey, Marconi almonds, Bosc pears, jasmine, ginger, and maybe even tonka bean. Wild. To be perfectly honest, this wine really seems to be heading in the direction of a Tahbilk marsanne: eminently strange, not as floral as you feared, and altogether delightful. [As it turns out, the wine is actually more of a fake Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape blanc – it’s only 80% Viognier, with a bunch of other stuff in there as well – marsanne, roussanne, and grenache blanc.]In the mouth, virtually none of the stereotypical viognier oiliness is there on the attack, but the wine fans out in the mouth to end on a rich, full note. There’s definite spice and not a whit of sweetness; this wine is SERIOUS BUSINESS. With some air, it began to remind me of salt water taffy: sea air mixed with the promise of sweetness and honeycomb, with a salty tang, some spice, and almost a hint of violet leaves. On the whole, this is one of those rare Bonny Doon wines that is an unqualified success on its own terms: this tastes like something that could only have been made in California, and it’s all the better for it.Bonny Doon VineyardPrice: US $20Closure: StelvinDate tasted: March 2008

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