New viognier

Lion Ranch’s latest wine

INTOXICATING AROMATICS Lion Ranch’s newest release is one to savor. Featured: Mike Braxton, wine pourer. Photo: Bev Stenehjem
For most of us wine enthusiasts we get a thrill at the mention of a newly released wine, so upon hearing about Lion Ranch Vineyards and Winery’s newly released viognier, my weekend’s top priority was making a visit to their winery.

Past the lion head fountain leading to the winery’s open-air tasting pavilion, I spotted a vendor selling exotic jewelry and heard the soothing sounds of a string duet.
Mike Braxton, very friendly and knowledgable, was on hand to pour the tastings that day. The newly released 2016 Estate Viognier ($25) was everything I hoped for. Made from 100 percent viognier grapes using two different grape clones, the intoxicating aromatics reminded me of a garden of sweet peas. For a moment, I wondered if I could just skip the rest of the tasting menu; only wanting to sip and savor this wine.
Noticing my glass was empty, Mike poured me the next wine on the menu, the 2014 Lion’s Share ($23). Always a proprietary blend of five varietals, this is the first year that picpoul blanc has been added; giving the wine a lip-smacking sourness.
The third pour, the Lioness 2016 Rose ($24), made in the Provence style, is an outstanding first effort for the winery. A 50/50 blend of grenache and mourvedre, it is a pale, rose gold color; bursting with flavors that hit all areas of the tongue. Sip this gem alone or with any warm-weather entrée.

Bev Stenehjem
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About Bev Stenehjem
Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at [email protected].