The Viader winery and its surrounding vineyards occupy perhaps the most beautiful location in the entire Napa Valley area. Just peak at the picture bellow, where embroidered by the vine groves this lake paradise in the valley comes to life. As one settles at the winery’s terrace overlooking the Howell Mountain estate vineyards it gets under your skin and beyond your imagination. Let the enchantment by the wonderful scenery that spreads in front of you like a sun-dusted blanket on a freshly grown grass settle you into its cushion on the bed of a vast meadow.
WINEMAKER AND PROPRIETOR
You do not come to Viader only for the looks though. Delia Viader, the owner and winemaker, knows very well that wine is not only about the land the grapes grow in, but also about the personalities involved with the vineyard and the entire complex process of winemaking. Many people, who know her would say that she is a bit over-educated for a winemaker. Delia holds a doctorate in philosophy from Sorbonne in Paris and pursued numerous business courses in the USA. Her passion for fine wine lead her to study also Enology and Viticulture at University of California Davis. With all these degrees you might think that her wine must be highly sophisticated. Indeed, as my tasting experience proved, the wines she makes are intriguing and very well made.
Greeted by a friendly dalmatian dog just as we exited the bunker-like door leading from the winery to the vineyards we felt welcome. Moreover, Delia’s Argentine roots manifest themselves in her friendly and positively tuned manner, and that puts you into the right mood for the wine tasting.
Viader winery WINES
The wines were all intense, sufficiently concentrated, but elegant and not too chewy as some old-fashioned California Cabernets tend to be. There are eight wines produced under the Viader label:
Viader Proprietary Cabernet Blend, the signature wine. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc known under a nickname “Liquid Cashmere”. It is a succulent, fruit-driven wine with a long ageing potential. The Cabernet Franc adds violet flower aroma and royal elegance.
“V” is a Petit Verdot dominated blend, balanced by Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It is a powerful wine. Petit Verdot is a very tannic grape, but it needs some acidity to achieve longer ageing potential, the Cabs add complexity as well as the desired acidity and harmonise the strong Petit Verdot. This was my favourite wine from the range we tasted.
VIADER Syrah is a blend of two clones of Syrah – the Australian Shiraz from Barossa Valley and French from the Rhone Valley. Here the spices of the Australian clone mingle with the elegance and distinct Rhone Syrah aroma.
VIADER Black Label is a limited edition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Malbec. This wine was born as an initiative taken by Alan Viader, who spent one harvest in Argentina where he got inspired to grow the Mendoza‘s famous varietal here on the family estate at Howell Mountain. We have not tried this wine since this is a limited edition released in very small amounts.
DARE is a single varietal line of the following grapes under three different labels: Cabernet Sauvignon; Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo.
DARE Cabernet Sauvignon is a “classic mountain cab”. It is a complex single variety wine with aromas of black cherry, dark currant, tobacco and cedar. There is a slight caramel flavour from the oak ageing. This wine should be drink young, within five years.
DARE Cabernet Franc had also acquired some sweet spices from barrel ageing with vanilla, sweet caramel and tobacco leading the suite. The fruits contributed with scents of black currant, liquorice and cocoa to create a palate-awakening wine.
DARE Tempranillo as a “latin spice” brings this Spanish varietal to life at the Howell Mountain vineyard. It is charming with floral notes, refreshing minerality and earthy feel, while showing quality-driven wine as it has a great fruit concentration.
DARE Rosé is made by the Southern French method of “bleeding grapes” (saigné method) of mainly Cabernet Sauvignon. The pink juice from the macerating must is removed at an early stage just to leave more colour, aromas and tannins. We have not tried this rosé.
Visit Viader and unwind during the hot summer or ideally during one of the cosy warm autumn days. In both seasons there are trees protecting you from the heat as well as open spaces facing the valley so you can savour the last powerful sun rays of the year.
1120 Deer Park Road, Deer Park, CA 94576
Daily from March through October – 10am – 4:30pm (during the winter months only on Sundays).
Cante Swearingen; Director of Hospitality firstname.lastname@example.org