Wine of the Week

Chris’ Wine Pick: It’s White Wine Season

I happened to be at The Wine Company with Traz last week, enjoying a fantastic Tempranillo, when we ran into Les Linkogle, the owner and winemaker of Briar Rose Winery.

Briar Rose 2009 Estate Viognier. Photo by Chris Baptiste

After a few pleasantries, all of us quickly came to the conclusion that Briar Rose should be our next weekly “wine pick.” I jumped at the chance to visit this boutique, reservation-only winery. What could be better than spending an afternoon tasting some of the finest wines the Temecula valley has to offer?

Off the beaten path and nestled up in the hills, Briar Rose prides itself as being the “premier boutique winery” here in the Temecula Valley.  Their mission statement is simple and to the point: 

We strive to produce handcrafted, small lot, premium, artisan wines made from the most intensely flavored grapes from our lush vineyards.

And they do.  They only produce about 2,400 cases per year, and as such, make wines that have received “cult status” by wine connoisseurs and writers.  Many of their award-winning vintages top the $100 plateau (their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – Estate Collection is amazing), but they also have a wide variety of medium-priced wines ($20-$60 range).  For this week’s pick, I decided to select a wine that not only would be affordable to most of us, but also one that would compliment the upcoming late spring/early summer months.

It’s about to be white wine season, my friends, so my pick of the week is Briar Rose’s 2009 Estate Viognier.  I wanted to find the perfect sittin’-on-the-patio wine – one you could pair with a summery salad or simply serve chilled and enjoy with friends while BBQing.  I’m a pool person, myself – I LOVE the water – and there are few things better in life than floating in a picture-perfect pool with a nice, cool drink in my hand.  And this summer, it’s going to be the 2009 Estate Viognier.

This a smooth, exotically fruity (though not sweet), robust, floral wine with hints of white peach.  Delicious!  Stacey Thomas, my tasting guru today (and Briar Rose’s Administrative Assistant), calls it the “best Viognier in the valley.”  Strong words, as most of the wineries in this area produce a nice Viognier.

I’ve tried some with a distinct grapefruit taste & aroma, some that are a little sweeter, and still some that are simply very good over-all wines, but I don’t believe I’ve tasted one as balanced, multilayered, and vivid as this one.  It’s a true pleasure to drink a wine this lovely.

So if you’re looking for that unique, intimate wine tasting experience, be sure to call Briar Rose (951-308-1098) and make an appointment.  You’ll be treated like royalty.  And for you Taste of Temecula fans, per Dorian Linkogle – Les’ lovely wife and Briar Rose’s President – stop in today through next Thursday (May 20th) and you’ll receive the Wine Club price on my pick, the 2009 Estate Viognier ($20).

You’ll thank me later, from poolside.

Photo by Chris Baptiste.

One thought on “Chris’ Wine Pick: It’s White Wine Season

  1. Pingback: Briar Rose’s 3rd Anniversary BBQ | Taste of Temecula

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