It’s tricky to make a luscious style of Viognier without going overboard on alcohol and oak. I think Clif Family walked the fine line by achieving full flavor development and simultaneously keeping the nuance of the Viognier grape. Get honeysuckle, dried lemon peel, sliced fresh peaches, ripe apricots and melons and white pepper. Fuller flavored, as expected from a Viognier that hits 14.5% alcohol, but not “hot.” All Oak Knoll District fruit is southern Napa Valley. Mostly fermented in neutral French oak barrels.
Clif Family continues to make consistently tasty red and white wines from their Estate vineyards on Howell Mountain as well as from purchased fruit from Napa Valley and beyond (they also have a new vineyard in Napa’s Oak Knoll District planted to 8 different grapes-not yet in production). Winemaker Laura Barrett has been with Clif Family since 2014. I’m a big fan of her winemaking style. The Viognier case in point: not afraid of Napa Valley ripeness yet knows how to pull in the reins when necessary. For all the Clif Family wines I’ve reviewed, GO HERE.