2008 Fractured Flowers
California Proprietary White Wine
It is only in special years that we’ll bottle anything as a single vineyard and/or single varietal wine – especially Viognier, which can too often be too good of a thing by itself.
While always likely to display its exuberant nature, I prefer Viognier to show its non-fruit/flower characteristics, which it does best when grown in the right (cool) site and in the right (cool) vintage, and through appropriately low yields. The old vines (no one seems to know just how old) gave us that in 2008, a year fraught with challenges like an early frost and an inconsistent and late season. As usual, the most challenging stuff makes the best wine.
Tanzer / International Wine Cellar Issue 153
($60) Light yellow. Sexy aromas of white peach and pear nectar, with exotic spice notes adding complexity. Nervy and mineral-driven viognier that offers juicy orchard fruit, floral flavors and good, spicy lift. Very clean and brisk on the finish, which repeats the floral note.
The Rhone Review
Unfortunately, there’s only a single barrel (270 bottles) of the 2008 Sanguis Fractured Flowers and it’s easily one of the top Rhone whites I’ve tasted out of California. The wine is 100% Viognier from Bien Nacido, aged for 23 months in 100% seasoned French oak, and delivers awesome aromatics of rich, golden fruits, green almonds, buttered bread, and touches of flowers. Rich and fresh at the same time, blossoming beautifully in the glass, this has more than a passing resemblance to a top chardonnay. Medium to full bodied on the palate, with a full, focused texture, fantastic acidity, and a blockbuster finish that possesses loads of nutty richness, this stunning white shows the richer, focused side to Viognier. While I don’t see any reason to hold this, nor do I have any idea how it will age, I can’t imagine it not having at least 3 to 5 years of prime drinking. Hat’s off to Matthias for another stunning white!
This 100% Viognier was grown in the Bien Nacido Vineyard. It’s bone dry, crisp in acidity and firm in wet stone minerals, while the rich fruit flavors suggest fresh, juicy citron, quince and sweet lime. Just wonderful, a bracing, pure, clean and pure example of a variety that can often be fussy. - S.H.