2011 Clarksburg Viognier
Viognier •Baranek Family Vineyard
Beat the Heat
Soft, refreshing and quite elegant, today’s 2011 Saddleback Cellars Clarksburg Viognier is the perfect summertime companion. Enjoy this freshly delicious wine all on its own, on a hot summer day, or with a wide variety of foods.
Nils Venge was the first California winemaker to garner a perfect 100 point score and he has since gone on to win numerous record-beating scores and accolades. He has certainly earned our admiration. In fact, last year we named Nils our Winemaker of the Year.
Today’s delicious wine is highly recommended, but it is also in short supply. We secured every last bottle for you, so please act quickly if you love great white wines.
Vibrant and brightly gold hued, with a near perfect even coloration from core to edge.
Utterly elegant, with aromas that are more reminiscent of the Rhone than California. Hints of green apple, lemongrass, Anjou pear, and dried white nectarine are laid overtop white flower petal and a touch of lime blossom that lingers through and through.
Soft and smooth on entry with an initial rush of citrus, lemongrass, persimmon, underripe pear and granite. At the back of the palate, a subtle hint of dried Provençal herbs mixes with subtle white pepper.
Medium bodied, with a very bright and slightly viscous mouthfeel that beautifully coats the palate. Touches of stone fruit, white pepper, and a subtle minerality linger through.
Chilled shrimp with Morrocan-spiced peach chutney.
What the Winery Says
At the Baranek Family Vineyard there are only sixteen rows of well-cared for grapes that are planted in Clarksburg, a sleepy town located in the Sacramento Delta area. Sunny and hot in the summer with cool, breeze filled nights, it is an ideal location for growing Viognier.
A very aromatic nose full of tropical fruit, predominantly lychee fruit, jasmine petals, and light honeysuckle. Stirring the lees two times a week over a five month period produced a full-bodied, viscous mouth-feel. Notes of white peach and nectarine on the mid-palate, followed by a long, pleasing aftertaste. A perfect accompaniment with dried fruit, cheese, fruit salads, and wild game, especially quail!
- Nils Venge
- Clarksburg, California
- Baranek Family Vineyard
- Fruit Variety
- 93% Viognier, 7% Marsanne
- 5 months in 100% neutral oak
About the Winery
Here at Saddleback Cellars, we take every step to assure the highest quality wines from grape to bottle. Our goal is to produce wines that are true to their varietal and place; we limit production to only five to six thousand cases a year to further our goal of making truly hand-crafted wines of the highest quality.
Winemaker/owner Nils Venge and Lars, our assistant winemaker, use traditional winemaking techniques to assure well balanced wines that are easy to drink young and, with the proper cellar conditions, age with grace and beauty.
Winemaker Nils Venge
Born to Danish immigrants, Nils’ exposure to wine came at an early age: his parents operated a wine and liquor import and distribution company in Southern California. Nils continued his pursuit of wine at the University of California in Davis where he earned a BS in Viticulture in 1967.
Following graduation he moved to the Napa Valley to pursue his interest in winemaking. In the subsequent years, he worked for notable wineries, such as Charles Krug, Sterling, Villa Mount Eden and Groth. During his tenure at Groth, Nils became the first American winemaker to receive a perfect 100 point rating from Wine Critic Robert Parker Jr. for the 1985 Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which catapulted him to a venerated position in the California wine industry.
Saddleback Cellars is a small winery located off dead-end Money Road in Oakville, California. We sit at just about the 50-yard line of the valley.
Our vineyard comprises a total of 14.8 acres where we grow six varietals. As it is, 8.4 acres are planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.9 acres in Chardonnay, 1.75 acres in Merlot, 1.1 acres in Pinot Blanc, 0.3 acres in Pinot Grigio and 0.3 acres in Zinfandel.
All of our grapes are hand-picked and rushed right to our onsite crush pad where we begin the winemaking process right away. Come see the action between late August and late October of each year.