Monday, August 30, 2010

Lodi's Diamond in the Rough

So recently I enjoyed a good Viognier.  For those unfamiliar with the varietal, it is an earthy yet fruity white that is more commonly found in blends rather than in 100% varietal bottles.  One of the more common ones I can think of is Yalumba's Shiraz - Viognier which only contains 4-6% per bottle of the elusive white.
Back to the wine of choice, I recently drank a bottle of Praxis Viognier, 2007 vintage of Lodi, California.  It really took me by surprise.  I was expecting something bland, or at least without any dramatic notes of flavors but why shouldn't I?  After all, if 4% blended in with a red can make so much of a difference in taste, the 100% should surely be something phenomenal.  Praxis was no exception to this theory, but let me explain a little further into detail.
It was amazing!  Sweet and soft with no signs of any unnecessary acidity or sharpness.  The first scent of it truly reminded me of my mother's old gardenia bushes in front of our first house.  What really drew me into it was how effervescent it was.  There was no need to get your nose wet but at the same time it wasn't something you could smell form the next room. It was pleasantly simple and lovely.

Nothing short of exceptional.  The first sip was a collection of unripe stone fruits followed by a light lemon and satsuma note but without heavy acidity.  The body was as smooth as silk, and with heavy notes of pink apples and limestone, it certainly left an enjoyable impression.  All and all, it was very easy to drink and even easier to detect every present flavor without one masking the other.  The most wonderful of all was the clean limestone taste.  If anyone is missing what I'm trying to say here,  it didn't taste like a rock, but more or less like a clean mineral water: pure and characterful. What I personally like about any Lodi wines, is how similar the soil and climate is to Bordeaux and how any wine not commonly found in one, you can ore than likely find in the other. This is something I can really get into.  There was nothing too complicated about it; and unlike some of those 8 varietal blends, it doesn't pair with everything, but it does come close.

Price and Availability
I was lucky to find this gem.  I was able to catch it on clearance for about $8 but it does normally retail for about $17 or so.  And honestly, I would gladly pay for the full retail price.  It is definitely a must have and a must taste for any one interested in trying something off the beaten track. But as far as how easy it is to find....  I have only been able to find it at a few stores her in Louisiana, but most are charging way more than what's reasonable for a single bottle.  You can occasionally find it on ArbiosCelars.org or at a few other stores, but contact me if you need any help.  I might know a place or two that actually does retail it.

Well guys, hope you find this useful and hope you can get your hands on this one.  It's definitely worth a shot or two.  

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