2009 Ritual Paso Robles Viognier, Paso Robles

SENSORY ASSESSMENT:

Still. Pale gold with excellent clarity. Initially, medium intensity crème brûlée aromas are backed by hints of waxy, ripe starfruit. In the mouth, a distinct, medium prominence minerality, light honey-crème brûlée flavors and very faint traces of dried tropical fruit are noted. Very faint crème fraiche is noted at the back. A faint hint of sweetness is present throughout. This wine is upper medium-bodied with appropriate acids which carry over to a nice, lively level on the finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but appropriate for region and variety. First bottle is somewhat watery and a bit hollow but the second bottle feels significantly fuller and more balanced. The mouthfeel is slightly unctuous. Light flavors strike a vague chord of honey and ripe tropical fruit in the rather short (5 second) finish. An airy, light note of crème fraiche is present at the end. A second wave of acidity wells up towards the end.

Overnight, crème brûlée and starfruit aromas persist fairly well, with the crème brûlée dominating. The wine has become softer, rounder, sweeter and more unctuous and shows some oxidation after 24 hours.

 

OPINION:

Good first effort. Lower toned, with more subdued fruit and élevage-dependent characteristics (malolactic and sur lie) taking front stage. Some may want more clear fruit expression and prominence.  Nevertheless, this wine is fairly well put together and shows fairly good typicity for the region and variety. In particular, good minerality and acidity are present. The key with this wine is to not over-chill it and it should do well both as a solo sipper and as a companion to spicy or Asian dishes. The second, better, bottle blended and matched well with a salad of baby lettuce mix with walnuts, goat cheese, beets and champagne vinaigrette. It worked well with curry chicken and carrots. Consume now.

 

BOTTOM LINE:

Fairly good with appealing characteristics.

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1 Comment to "2009 Ritual Paso Robles Viognier, Paso Robles"

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