Wine Review | Cline Cellars | 2012 Viognier, North Coast

Wine Review | Cline Cellars | 2012 Viognier, North Coast

cline celars bottle

Cline Cellars 2012 Viognier

Before I get into the wine review, the history of how Cline Cellars came to be is worth noting.  Current vineyard owner Fred Cline’s maternal grandfather was Valeriano Jacuzzi.  If the name doesn’t ring a bell maybe just the name Jacuzzi does.  Yes, the hot tub/spa/whirlpool.  Fred’s grandfather and six brothers started out as machinists and then pump builders before they finally became synonymous with the whirlpool spa industry.

Fred graduated from U.C. Davies and in 1982 he started Cline Cellars.  Originally his operation was located near Oakley, then in 1991 he relocated to a 350 acre piece of land in Carneros

I recently received several wines for review from the Cline Cellars portfolio and of particular distinction was the 2012 Viognier. This wine was actually very nice.   And at a suggested retail price of only $12 it’s a real bargain.

Most of the grapes for this wine come from the Mendocino region.  This area is prone to cool coastal fog overnight and even into midday.  Ideal for this varietal.

What did I find particularly pleasant about this wine?  The wine is particularly weighty, if that makes sense.  I find most Viogniers to be pleasantly light, whereas this wine came in as a bit of a heavy weight.  And that is a good thing, because the alcohol content is 14%.  If there wasn’t enough deep, intense fruit the alcohol would have really been hot and unpleasant.  As it is now, the alcohol actually added a bit of ripeness to the mix.  The fruit is tropical in nature, with a pretty, flowery/rose like nose.

On the finish, the wine was ripe, rich and delicious.  The acidity is just right, just enough to create a slight zing to smooth and supple mouthfeel.

Weekly Wine Journal Rating: 95 points

Wine Review: Bonterra Vineyards 2007 Viognier – Organic

Bonterra Organic Wine


Price: $10.99 at Costco

Where from? : 65% Mendocino County, 35% Lake County

Certified Organically Grown Grapes

Alcohol: 13.64%

Blend:  Viognier 81%, Marsanne 10%, Roussane 4% and Muscat 5%

Aging: 4 months in 30% new French Oak.

Crisp and fairly light.  The nose was not really that present, very slight honeysuckle is really all I could pick up.  On the palate the dominant flavor is green apple with a little bit of peach, a very little bit.  I don’t know why, but I was expecting something different.  I suppose it’s because one of my favorite wines d’Arenberg’s Laughing Magpie is a blend of 90% Shiraz and 10% Viognier.  It must be quite a different Viognier because I can’t see how green apple would go with Shiraz?  I ended up not drinking much more than a glass of this wine on the first night.  It’s not the wine’s fault, I was having steak for dinner which calls for Cabernet.  But I did re-investigate Bonterra the next night while watching Olympic Hockey.  And actually I liked it a lot more.  I think I might have tried this one too close to the Grgich Hills Fume Blanc the day before.  As a stand alone wine it’s quite good.  Nice crisp green apple, virtually no oak, light.  Just a nice decent afternoon sipper.  With the added feel good bonus of having been made from Certified Organically Grown Grapes.  I would pick this up for summer parties as an alternative to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.