Twisted Oak Winery
2006 Calaveras County Viognier
California: Calaveras County
What we say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome!. The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Twisted Oak Winery.
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Mission Codename: Everyday Viognier
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Twisted Oak winery. This time around, Send Agent White to recover a big white wine that can be enjoyed on its own, or a variety of meals
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Twisted Oak Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Calaveras County Viognier
Winemaker: Scott Klann
The Wine Spies recently sent Agent Red on a mission to investigate reports of an excellent red wine. He succeeded and returned with a wine that our Operatives snapped up in a big hurry. Soon after, Operatives began sending requests for a Twisted Oak white wine. Agent White, who often finds himself following in the footsteps of Agent Red, is dispatched to the winery to return with a Twisted Oak white. He returns, triumphant, with a wine that might just end up being more popular with our Operatives than the one Agent Red found. Read about Agent Whites revenge… we mean report, below.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Golden and sparkling with thick but thinly-spaced slow-moving legs
Smell -Apricot, honeydew melon, honeysuckle and river stone, with subtle peach, pear, vanilla and graham cracker
Feel – Soft and velvety, with a coolness and a hint of tongue-tip tannins that I loved
Taste – Honey, dried apricot, pear, oak and white peach with soft butter cream
Finish -Powerful yet soft and smooth, lingering with gently trailing flavors and a nice metallic tartness
Conclusion – This great blend of Viognier from 5 different Calaveras County vineyards is a spectacular example of California Viognier. Any Viognier, really. Combine the great grapes that went into this wine with the talents of Twisted Oak and the fact that 2006 was a banner year for Viognier – and we have a fantastic wine that excels at food pairing and can be sipped on its own. Given the pairing versatility of this wine, you won’t find many food that it won’t match up with. We enjoyed ours with soft cheeses, green olives and Spanish paella (themselves an unusual pairing) . If you are looking for another stock-up-for-the-holidays wine, this is a white that won’t break the bank.
This week we welcome a new Guest Sommelier Agent Cuvee who contributes his thoughts on several of our wines this week. Here are his comments on today’s wine:
“Out of the 20+ wines that ran across my palate today, this wine stood out the most. Was it because of the whimsical tribute to a very famous “three hour tour” on the back label? Was it the brilliant color that requires the darkest of spy-shades to keep me from squinting? Although these are great qualities that this wine offers, it was all in the nose on this one. Right off the bat the glass was filled with intense aromas of melon, pear, underlined with lemon and honey. Further investigation into the bouquet led to smells of flint, heather, graham crackers and vanilla. Although typical of Viognier to be less expressive on the palate, this wine still comes through nicely with honeycomb, oak, white nectarine and sweet butter cream to finish off with that classic metallic mineral finish that pairs all too well with shellfish. There is so much going on in this wine that it requires me to take the bottle back to my headquarters for, um…. further interrogation.”
Hah! Agent Red thinks that red wines are the only real wines, but I have shown him up with this great big Viognier from Twisted Oak. This is a wine that, on first sip in the Twisted tastingroom was, clearly a winner.
El Jefe, proprietor of Twisted Oak, insisted that I try his Viognier over his other whites for the simple reason that I would be impressed by it. Long mission report short: I was blown away. This wine excels in so many ways that I have a hard time finding a comparable Viognier in my recent memory.
This wine is crisp, smooth, flavorful and very well balanced. Viognier has a tendency to be off kilter in one respect or another, but this wine balances its flavors, acidity, alcohol, mouthfeel and aromas in perfect harmony with each other.
I enjoyed this wine with a tossed salad and leek pie. It made the perfect compliment and I am sure to enjoy this wine again on its own as an evening aperitif. I’ll also be serving it at Thanksgiving.
Order this wine Today and the Wine Spies will ship it in time for Thanksgiving!
From the winery: “Scott Klann crafts all Twisted Oak wines. Scott has been in the wine making business nearly 15 years. His knowledge of what works best is unmatched in the area (it doesn’t hurt that he was raised in Murphys.) Scott’s experience and personal relationships with the growers in Calaveras County allows Twisted Oak Winery to purchase the best fruit from these outstanding vineyards to complement our estate grape programs.”
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Twisted Oak and the neighboring vineyards where the grapes for this spectacular wine are grown can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Just sip one glass and you’ll hear a tale. A tale of a tasteful trip. That started with this Viognier, aboard this winery ship. The mate was a mighty winemaker, the assistant brave and sure. The Twisted Few set sail that day for a winemaking tour, a winemaking tour. The weather started getting rough, the vineyard almost lost. If not for the courage of the cellar crew the flavors would be lost, the flavors would be lost. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah something something something isle, with coconuts, papayas too. Taste butterscotch, apricots. A touch of oak, the finish and Mary Ann, in this Twisted Oak Wine.
“It’s like going into a department store, and before your can say ‘Stop!’ some perky thing in a floral print blasts you with the latest from Yves St. Ralph!” Not this Viognier! Sure, you will detect a hint of jasmine, but apricots and grapefruit take center stage upstairs in the Aroma Dept. Meanwhile, in the Flavor Dept. (1st floor, just past Lingerie), you’ll taste those apricots and grapefruits along with a touch of clove spice. Perfect for your holiday, or everyday, shopping experience!
This blend of Viogniers is from 5 different vineyards. 2006 was a spectacular season. As the summer progressed, we had a short but intense heat wave in late July (110 degrees for nearly 2 weeks). As August began, the weather cooled back down again to very average temperatures of mid-to-high 80’s. The result is that the grapes showed typical “warm-climate” characters of jasmine and apricot.
The aromatics of Viognier are housed in the skin and pulp so at the winery, the fruit was de-stemmed and then pumped to the press where it soaked on the skins for an hour in order to gain some complexity. The fruit was then pressed to remove the clear juice from the skins and seeds. After pressing, the wine was inoculated with a Rhone yeast strain and the yeast monitored throughout fermentation to ensure optimal yeast viability. 50% of the juice was fermented in older French Oak barrels, 15% in newer French oak barrels and the rest fermented in a stainless steel tank. After 11 days and near the end of primary fermentation, we began stirring the lees (sediment and expired yeast cells) every other week to enhance mouthfeel. It then spent 5 additional months in neutral French oak before being bottled.
Varietals & Vineyards:
48% Viognier from the Canterbury Vineyard
23% Viognier from Tanner Vineyard
9% Viognier from Frog’s Tooth Vineyard
5% Viognier from Villa Vallecito Vineyard
15% Viognier from Sumu Kaw Vineyard
Harvest Date: August 25th, 26th, 30th, September 16th, 28th
15% new French oak
85% neutral oak
Residual Sugar: 0.04%
Brix (harvest): 24.5
Age (before bottling): 7 Months