Thumbprint Cellars – 2008 Viognier

August 9, 2009

The Facts:

Thumbprint Cellars is one of two labels Scott Lindstrom-Dake runs and makes wine for; Kelly Creek is the other. A mere 300 cases of the 2008 Thumbprint Cellars Viognier were produced. The suggested retail price for this wine is $29.

Gabe’s Take:

It’s fair to say that I was pretty blown away by Thumbprint’s 2007 Viognier. I was sort of expecting the 2008 to came back down to earth a bit since the last one was so astoundingly good. I’m happy to report that my assumption was way off. 

As with the 2007, Apricot is a major component of this offerings nose. Tropical fruit notes are also evident and contribute to a heady an inviting combination of aromas. The palate is lush and mouth-filling, with loads of orchard and stone fruit accompanied by spice notes in droves. The finish is long and lingering with white pepper and nutmeg resonating forcefully. This wine has terrific balance and good acidity. It will work equally well paired with light summer foods or on its own. Indian cuisine would also be an excellent choice.

What I like best about this Viognier is that it’s simultaneously layered, complex, full flavored and delicate. This is another excellent Viognier from Thumbprint Cellars. I’ve been hugely impressed with the range of offerings and consistent quality Scott is releasing. Here’s hoping he keeps them coming for many years more. There aren’t too many examples of Viognier I would personally spend $29 on. Considering how good both the 2007 & 2008 vintages from Thumbprint have been I wouldn’t hesitate a second with theirs.

Dave’s Take:

There are only a few of winemakers in Dry Creek that seem to hit it out of the ballpark every time regardless of year or varietal. One of them is Scott Lindstrom-Dake. With two labels (Thumbprint and Kelley Creek) he makes a large assortment of wines, and all are made quite well.

The unassuming color of this wine (a nice pale yellow) doesn’t provide any clues about just how rich and full this wine really is. Apricot and peach are definitely the leading aromas, but there is a nice floral component as well. This wine is a mouthful, there is a lot going on from the continued apricot and tropical fruit to notes of honey and spice and the zest of fresh citrus. I find myself daydreaming that I am on a beach sucking on a really juicy peach after downing some grapefruit. Amongst the white pepper and nutmeg that Gabe mentioned I am also picking up notes of Ginger that emerges on the generous finish. Simply delicious. I feel that this would pair quite well with a spicy Asian dish; chicken with an orange/ginger sauce would be a perfect complement.

How is the wine? Great. How is the company? I’m drinking alone (do I have a problem?) How do I feel? Peachy… I have finally proven that you are what you drink.

Please vote for Drink Dry Creek!

Thumbprint Cellars – 2007 Preston Vineyard Viognier

February 25, 2009

The Facts:

The 2007 Thumpbrint Cellars Preston Vineyard Viognier is made from organic fruit. Preston of Dry Creek is, of course, a well regarded Dry Creek Valley producer, in their own right, in addition to being a grower. 250 cases of this single Vineyard Viognier were produced, and the suggested retail price is $29.

Gabe’s Take:

I first became aware of Viognier, years ago, when I was looking for a Chardonnay alternative. And while I often find examples of Viognier I like, there are few that really blow me away. So as I approach a Viognier, I always wonder which category it’ll fall into.

This example from Thumbprint Cellars has an effusive nose loaded with apricot, gooseberry, honey and pear. The palate has a round, rich, lush mouth feel that envelopes your taste buds with stone fruit, honey and a touch of citrus peel. The long, lingering finish has continued fruit notes, as well as white pepper, and mineral characteristics. This wine has tremendous acidity and will pair well with a ton of lighter cuisine. I also found it enjoyable on its own.

The bottom line for me is that the Thumbprint Cellars Preston Vineyard Viognier is one of the rare Viogniers that truly knocked me out. It has a level of complexity in the palate, and though the finish, that is rarely seen in Viognier from California. If you like Viognier, this is what you’ve been waiting for, go grab it.

Dave’s Take:

One doesn’t need a degree in forensic science to determine that Thumbprint Cellars 2007 Viognier is a fine example of the varietal.  What I often like about Viogniers in general, is the floral nose. This one did not disappoint. In fact, this bottle was a bit more interesting than normal with its limestone, apricot and pear components. The limestone was a surprise, but most definitely there (and enjoyable). This is a well structured wine that should drink best with food. Just about any cheese would go well; I had a hankering for goat cheese at the time.

I really enjoyed this wine, but had never come across it before. I felt I needed to learn more about it, who was the winemaker, etc. After some careful investigation my conclusion is it must have been Scott Lindstrom-Dake, in Preston Vineyard, with a wine bottle. Sorry for running with the Thumbprint theme, but I was always a sucker for Clue – thanks Parker Brothers!

This winery is also making a splash with their tasting room. Apparently, the Thumbprint Cellars Tasting Lounge is just that, a lounge (complete with a disco ball). This may sound a bit garish, but online user reviews point to this being one of the coolest tasting rooms around. I will definitely stop here on my next trip.

To sum things up – if you like flowers, fruit, sucking on limestone, and Clue this is a good fit. The only crime would be to never put your hands on a bottle of this (just don’t put your hands on mine or I’m dusting for prints).

Please vote for Drink Dry Creek!

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