Disclosure: I like reds way more than whites, or rose for that matter. Well, there are some exceptions; my case of Jana Rosé is nearly depleted. The Wellington Duchess is hanging in there, but I had to get more of his Roussanne. And I'm still hoarding IH Unoaked Chard. This Stillman 2012 Chateau d'Abalone fits right in there and I'm going to find some space for these next to those 2011's.
So I made the opportunity to pour this into a number of test subjects, six actually, 2 female, 4 male, but most were willing and it wasn't all that difficult, considering I work in a research department at a university. Yeah, astrophysics, but we drink too… Even at work, during lunch, before meetings, didn't much matter to them at all. And as all the comments were positive, I'll just blend them together here.
All tasted blind, except me of course, but I've been accused of many things…
A bit difficult to comment on color when it's in a coffee cup, but we do what we have to do. At home, with an actual wine glass, but under less than optimal lighting I'd say a clear pale straw with only the slightest tinge of green, and that I could blame on the color rendition of these wonderful CFL's we are made to purchase; I digress however.
Nose was definitely aromatic, and noted as peach perfume, wonderfully fruity, citrus smell. For two it reminded them of Champagne. For me, citrus and tropical fruit; floral. At only a few weeks in bottle, I think youthful in development would be the correct call.
Clearly the group had different thresholds for sweetness, as comments varied from slightly sweet to very sweet. I'm all over the spectrum and for me I think a bit on the sweet side of off-dry fits, and given a bit more TA for me it would clearly be perceived as off-dry.
Nice viscosity, medium full body, a very nice "mouth feel".
Regarding perceived acidity, again there were varied comments ranging from "smooth, not much of a bite", "crisp" to "sharp taste, not acidic". Personally I prefer enamel etching crispness in my whites, but most Viognier I've had just doesn't do that, and this was no exception. I'd have liked it a bit crisper. Perhaps Stillman will do a special release.
Flavor wise this is a mouthful; comments of fruit, peaches, citrus and hints of mango, with one comment of a "a bit of wood?" This evolves as it warms. At "cellar" temperature, the 15.0% ABV is hardly noticeable, but as it warms the aroma, intensity of flavor and perception of ethanol all increase. Speaking of ethanol, the ethanol consuming grad student that got a taste mentioned heartburn; he's now 86'd from additional tasting, but what to expect from a bartender at House of Blues?
Nice medium to long finish that evolves.
Food? Gotta have food. Buy on bread, sell on cheese? This works with either. Food wise this paired with nearly everything I threw at it. SWMBO made yaki-soba that I spiced up a bit with Sriracha; great. Cilantro lime shrimp, check. Warm French bread and Cypress Grove Natural or Herbs de Humboldt, you bet. Even threw some figs, dates , dried apricots and nuts at it, yup. Candy Basket chocolate; ahhh, not so much, but I had to try. Cocktail; absolutely.
This one, for me, is a keeper and is fully SWMBO approved.
Thanks Stillman, but the bottle is already empty, and lacks a UPC.
Can you fix that?
Yeah, I'm in...
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