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It’s high time we revisit the man who counts how many grains of sands in the high desert near Willcox it takes to make a good wine.  And since the 2014 W was just bottled, I figure it’s time I finally drink my bottle of the 2013 W in its place!

2013 W from Sand-Reckoner. A great summer white!

2013 W from Sand-Reckoner. A great summer white!

The Wine: The 2013 W is a blend of 85% Viognier and 15% Malvasia Bianca.  The Viognier in this blend was whole cluster pressed, and barrel fermented in neutral/old French oak.  It spent 8 months on the lees. The Viognier was sourced from two different vineyards; 57% was sourced from Deep Sky Vineyard, while the other 28% was sourced from Lawrence Dunham. It was then blended with a stainless steel fermented/aged portion of Malvasia, which was sourced from New Mexico.  No malolactic fermentation was carried out. The wine is a lovely sort of dark khaki/Tuscan sun color, according to the new color app I’ve been playing with way too much lately. (I point it at something and it speaks the color at me. Like I said, way too much fun). 170 Cases of the 2013 W were produced. Rob Hammelman was the winemaker.

The Nose:  Upon first opening this wine, the malvasia in this vintage dominates the aroma of this vintage, imparting notes of elderflower, sandalwood, and jasmine.  Subtle notes of vanilla also emerge from the glass. As the wine opens up, the viognier comes out to play, with notes of red apples, apircots, acacia blossoms, and gardenias, and finally, fresh figs and quince.  It’s kind of like walking through an orchard filled with flowers while eating a bowl of fruit.

The Palate: Viognier is predominant on the palate, imparting notes of bright apple, peach, apricot, and hints of vanilla.  The Malvasia in this blend imparts slight hints of honeydew melon and lavender. When the wine has been sitting for a while, slight mango notes also emerge.  There’s some great acidity here, as well as a full-bodied mouth feel.  The finish is long, with notes of sandalwood, pears, and the limestone dust minerality I’ve come to know of Willcox whites, lasting for 34 seconds.  Perhaps this description of the palate is overly simplistic–but it’s quite pleasant.

Pairing: Pair the 2013 W with a light summer’s picnic lunch: turkey and ham sandwiches with dijon mustard and a side of potato chips or a potato salad. No, seriously, it would be great; if this wine had a screwtop, it would be the perfect picnic wine.  Or you could pair it with some nice almond-encrusted chicken cutlets cooked in a Scallion Beurre Blanc sauce.  For your vegetarian pairings, I wish I had the recipie for the vegan ruben sandwich from Veggie Galaxy, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Impression: If you’re looking for a good, easy-drinking summer white, it’s hard to go wrong with the 2013 W, and I hear the 2014 is even better for your picnics (and in a screwtop to boot).

Oddly, I get a distinct masculine impression about this wine; rather than the feminine qualities of the previous Viogner we tasted from Rune.  He wears business casual with a tie (always something fun), and is fond of black blazers, and is the renegade owner of a small tech ferm who is working on designing a really cool vineyard simulator game.