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2006 Cline Viognier

In the pantheon of national value wines, Cline Cellars, along with Don Sebastiani & Sons, Castle Rock and Rosenblum are some of the most reliable wines at price point.

Say what you will about the mildly geeky online debate between “wines of place” and “wines of technology,” but the fact remains that the majority of wine lovers are not buying uber-expensive wines, but instead are looking for a reliable quaff that provides enjoyment against the palate and not necessarily wines that provide enjoyment against a background criterion that is sometimes impossible to match.

In simple terms, more people, including influencers like bloggers, are drinking more national brands than they are wines that have not been inured by “Parkerization.”  And, frankly, most of these national brands are either blends from various vineyards or bulk juice, without a real sense of place, so to speak.

A look around the wine blogosphere and you will find a commensurate number of bloggers reviewing wines under the $20 benchmark and, frequently, under $10.

More often than not, this is where I do the majority of my drinking and as such, it is always nice to do a bottle choose and be rewarded.

In fact, I have moved a lot of my drinking to whites simply because it is easier to find a decent wine at this more normal price threshold.

Despite being ready to give up the ghost on Cline based on a couple of real recent clunkers—their Zinfandels running oaky and sweet and the Cashmere running very plonky, in my opinion, despite a recent Wine Spectator score of 87, I’m very glad to report that their 2006 Viognier is an exceptional wine for under $10.

Cline Cellars has been providing that reliable enjoyment for years and the fact that they can do so with Viognier, a very mercurial grape, perhaps more difficult to produce enjoyably than even Pinot Noir, tending to want to run on the flabby side, needing some acid to make its fruit forward overtones not seem kool-aid like.  Fortunately, the Cline has an abundance of acidified balance creating a delicious wine.

Maybe the acid was added in, maybe the wine is a blend from sixteen different vineyards, and maybe it is even bulk juice.  It may not be “of the earth, for the people,” but it is still a darn good wine and sometimes that is okay by me. 

Classicwines.com, in the video below, gave the ’06 Cline Viognier a serviceable grade.  I think it is a mild disservice because this wine is quite enjoyable and spending additional money for a Viognier is not necessary in this case.

My review can be found here

Classicwines.com Video Review for the Cline Viognier



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Posted in, Good Grape Wine Reviews. Permalink | Comments (2) |


Comments

On 03/09, Jason wrote:

Agree on Cline, years ago seemed to be well above where it is now.  The Zin use to be one of my favorites.  Tried it a few weeks back for old times sake and was again disappointed.  Perhaps I’ll give this one a go.

Also agree on Rosenblum, as I am a member of their wine club.  Though the prices on these are going north.  My latest shipment was three bottles that are $25 a piece ($20 at club prices).

My current favorite in this value catgory right now is Bogle.  If you haven’t had any of their wines give them a go.

On 07/14, Replica Rolex wrote:

So lucky, I found your post, search and themes


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