Last night we opened a bottle of 2015 De La Guerra Viognier from Napa Valley’s Carneros region. Translated literally, the words “de la Guerra” in Spanish mean “of the war” or “from the war.” In this case, however, De La Guerra refers not to any battle or war but instead is the name of one of the oldest winemaking families in California. De La Guerra is a second wine label of the esteemed HdV Winery in Napa. In our very first post on this blog, we wrote about HdV, a partnership between the Hyde family in California and the famous de Villaine family in France. Larry Hyde, grower of some of Carneros’ best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, is a De La Guerra descendant .
Like all of the HdV and De La Guerra wines, the Viognier was sophisticated, balanced and luscious. For those that have not experienced this varietal – Viognier is a French grape from the Rhine region of France. Typically, it has strong citrus and floral aromatics and flavor with a full-bodied finish. Many American expressions of Viognier end up very smooth and creamy as a result of ripe fruit, secondary (malolactic) fermentation, and the use of new oak.
Fortunately, the De La Guerra Viognier was made in the more traditional French style and did not suffer from the overdone, heavy-handed style that often results in a sweet, almost syrupy wine. On the nose, the Viognier had strong citrus elements – lemon and tangerine – as well as a strong floral component with hints of rose and honeysuckle. On the palate, the wine was crisp, pleasantly acidic, with clear minerality mingling with the fruit flavors. The Viognier went nicely with dinner but could also be enjoyed by itself (by which we mean with a good book and a patio chair outside).
We have many bottles of the HdV brand at home but this was our only bottle of any variety from the De La Guerra label; there is also a Chardonnay listed on the website that we are planning to order. For more information on HdV or De La Guerra wines, visit the HdV website: HdV Wines.
For the HdV story and an introduction to the team, click here: The HdV Story and Team.
John & Irene Ingersoll
April 17, 2017