2021 The Tightrope Viognier
The third edition of The Tightrope Viognier has a different look about it this vintage. We were afforded the luxury and opportunity to source our favorite white Rhone grape from a very special vineyard that is deeply rooted in the history of California grape growing. A vineyard in which 50 out 51 blocks of grapes are planted to Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard has a single block of Viognier that we received 1.5 tons from, and Viognier has a different look about it in the Sta. Rita Hills. Delicate aromatically and highly acidic on the pallet, we adjusted our thinking in the winery to best express the vineyard and attempt to make Mr. Sanford and Mr. Benedict proud. Fermented in once used French oak barriques, we opted for using wood to soften out the sharper edges of the pallet. We also for the first time went full malolactic and enlisted the use of stirring lees, a process known as Batonage, to further express creamy on the pallet. People don’t often talk about the range of Viognier, but it is just as flexible and malleable as it’s hometown friend Syrah. We are very excited to watch this wine age and develop over time.
On the nose, fresh pear and apricot effuse out of the glass with citrusy juicyness providing the backdrop. Limoncello intermingles with white oleander and honeysuckle blooms in a way that hints towards an essence of sweetness. The pure depth of aromatics on the nose acts as a strong precursor to what the pallet has to offer. Green apple and lemonade land on the entry with a cascade of bright acidity, but is quickly softened into a decadent mid pallet of lemon meringue and banana cream. The wine finishes as an integrated combination of the bright entry and dessert like core along with an additional dose of key lime that provides a quick conclusion.
Varietal: 100% Viognier
Appellation: Sta. Rita Hills
Vineyard(s): Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
Alcohol %: 14.1
Cooperage: Once used French Oak Barriques
Cellar Life: 7 months on primary lees, stirred every 5 days. Full Malolactic fermentation.
Cases Produced: 92
Soil Type:Diatomaceous Shale
Vine Orientation: North East by Southwest
Release: Summer 2022