Text Size:-+

2000 Viader Red Blend, Napa Valley

These last couple of weeks I have been lucky enough to enjoy a number of wines in the upper end of Napa pricing ($80 and above). But many of them have been at tastings where the encounter is concentrated and brief. Last night I settled down to a nice dinner with a good bottle and got the chance to simply savor the wine.

The Viader we chose to have at dinner is definitely one of my favorite wines from Howell Mountain. Delia Viader is one of the few people on Howell Mountain who grow a substantial amount of Cabernet Franc and her wines incorporate a substantial amount of this fruit. The blending that she and consulting winemaker Charles Hendricks do with her fruit results in an extremely drinkable wine, one that is delicate and aromatic enough for me to be content sipping without any food whatsoever. "We're talking about a wine that emphasizes finesse over power," says Delia, an Argentinian native who started making wines in Napa in 1987. Finesse is also required to dance the Argentine Tango, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Delia strives for some of the elegance and sensuality of that dance in her wine.

Tasting Notes:
Bright ruby red in the glass (and scintillating by candlelight), the wine is gorgeously aromatic with the Cab Franc coming through in violets and lupines coupled with the bright cherry and cedar of the Cabernet. The wine is high class silk in the mouth, full and supple with flavors of black cherry and chocolate and surprisingly very little hint of tannins as the wine finishes elegant and long with hints of coffee. Notably absent is the bitter and flinty character I sometimes experience (and very much dislike) in Howell Mountain fruit.

Food Pairing:
Because of the highly subdued tannins of this wine I wouldn't pair it with fare normally reserved for big Napa reds. Instead of big red meats, I might serve it with duck, or even roasted quail with red grapes and pearl onions.

Overall Score: 9/9.5

How much?: $80

This wine is available for order through the vineyard's Web site or from various Internet retailers.

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud