Century Wine Club
Opolo Viognier - $22.49
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Great concentration of tropical fruit leads on the palate. The wine shows apricot, Crenshaw melon, pineapple, and papaya , and a viscous intensity that lingers for a rich long finish. All of this concentrated fruit is accented with a touch of exotic spiciness that highlights the richness of the wine and leaves a clean and refreshing impression on the palate. A very big-bodied wine with loads of forward fruit makes this Viognier particularly good with smoked and grilled items. Its tropical tones are also an excellent accompaniment to Indian and Thai Curry and most Asian foods and spices. To be enjoyed with full flavored foods and ripe cheeses, it is also excellent as an aperitif.
Central Coast (California)
The wines made around San Jose and farther south toward Santa Barbara reflect the variety of climate. In cool Monterey County, the Pinot Noir and a variety of white grapes are producing wonderful wines. Farther south in St. Louis Obispo County, it’s warm enough for fat, juicy Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The range of climates is so enormous that the wines cover the full gamut of flavors, from rich, raisiny Zinfandel to supple, ripe Pinot Noir, to elegant Chardonnays.
Wineries exist in all fifty states, but the most predominant (and best) wine comes from Northern California, Oregon, and Washington State, with New York gaining a foothold in the industry. American wines make up about 75% of all wine sales in the US. The appellation system uses the term AVA (American Viticultural Area) to determine where wines were produced, but grape varieties can be planted anywhere in the country. American wineries generally use varietal labeling, and government regulations require that the variety on the label must make up at least 75% of the blend (in Oregon it’s 90%). The words reserve, special selection, private reserve, classic, and so on have no legal definition in the US. Some wineries use these terms to indicate their better wines; others use the words as a marketing tool to move lower quality wines off the shelf.
(vee oh nyay)—A grape from France’s Rhone Valley that is becoming popular in California and the south of France. The floral aroma and delicate apricot flavors that characterize the medium to full-bodied wine are due to low acidity.
California produces the majority of wine made in the United States. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir dominate the wine production in California, but many other varietials thrive in the California climate. Many fine wines are produced in California using Mediterranean grapes.
The Central Coast AVA is a large American Viticultural Area that spans from Santa Barbara County to the San Francisco Bay Area. With around 100,000 acres planted, Chardonnay accounts for more then half of the total plantings. Within this larger AVA are several smaller appellations that share the same cooling influence from the Pacific Ocean. These include Arroyo Grande Valley AVA Arroyo Seco AVA Carmel Valley AVA Chalone AVA Cienega Valley AVA Contra Costa County AVA Edna Valley AVA Hames Valley AVA Lime Kiln AVA Livermore Valley AVA Monterey AVA Monterey County AVA Pacheco Pass AVA Paicines AVA Paso Robles AVA San Antonio Valley AVA San Benito AVA San Bernabe AVA San Francisco Bay AVA San Lucas AVA San Luis Obispo County AVA San Ysidro District AVA Santa Barbara County AVA Santa Clara County AVA Santa Clara Valley AVA Santa Cruz County AVA Santa Lucia Highlands AVA Santa Maria Valley AVA Santa Ynez Valley AVA Sta. Rita Hills AVA York Mountain AVA
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