We discovered and acquired this label during our visit to the Viader winery estate on the lower reaches of Howell Mountain during our Napa Valley Howell Mountain Wine Experience 2008. We have since acquired and still hold more than a half dozen vintages dating back to this 2000 release.
The Viader 23-acre estate sits at 1200 foot elevation overlooking Napa Valley. The vineyards are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Viader is known for its Bordeaux-style blends. The elevation is notable as that is the height that the fog reaches above the valley floor and hence is the point at which below is designated Napa Valley, and above it designated Howell Mountain. This is due to the difference terroir due to the effects of the fog on the ripening vines.
With son Alec engaged to Vivianna, this has become somewhat of a 'signature' wine for us and our future daughter-in-law.
Readers of these posts know we have a lot of fun with wine labels associated with family members and friends, as well as vintage specific wines for birthyears, anniversaries and memorable occasions.
Tonight, we video-conferenced with Vivianna and Alec celebrating her birthday together, albeit remotely and virtually. In this case our virtual visit was due to distance between Chicago and New York, and not the isolation due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. In commemoration of her and her special day we opened this vintage release of the ultimate 'V' label and shared it via video.
Another 'V' series of labels we enjoy with and in honor of Vivianna is from Venge Vineyards, as shown.
The 'V' is a testament to the producer and winemaker Delia Viader, a remarkable and impressive lady who was born in Argentina and educated in Europe before earning graduate degrees in the U.S., a notable role model for any career minded female. It is also the branding and label for this single-varietal designated wine that is based on the Bordeaux Varietal Petit Verdot.
Delia Viader spent much of her formative years in Europe and in France where she earned a doctorate in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University in Paris, then pursued advanced business studies in the US at MIT, UC Berkeley and UC Davis.
Recognizing the potential Napa Valley wine industry in the 1980's, Delia acquired the Howell Mountain property and set out to create a world class wine estate, and continued studying Enology and Viticulture at University of California, Davis. During this time she also raised her four children in the wine environment and culture.
We had the pleasure of meeting Delia Viader during a producer tasting evening sponsored by Binny's here in Chicago back in 2005.
Petit Verdot (“peh-tee vur-doe”) is used as a blending grape in red Bordeaux blends because of its full body, plentiful color, tannin and floral aromas of violet. Because of its boldness, Petitot Verdot typically comprises less than 5-10% of the blend and is rarely produced as a single-varietal wine.
In recent years, Petit Verdot has emerged as a increasingly popular single varietal offering and we have collected the varietal from several of our favorite producers including Spring Valley and Del Dotto. Viader were ahead of their time in offering this as a standalone offering back in the day.
To accompany this special wine, Linda prepared a spectacular meal complete with grilled stuffed mushroom caps with sausage, jalapeno and cheese.
Viader "V" Napa Valley Proprietary Red Blend 2000
This is a blend primarily of Petit Verdot sourced from a 1.2-acre plot in the northeast corner of the estate of where the soil is particularly rocky and the yields are incredibly small. The producer says, "in each vintage, these grapes are short on production but always long on personality".
The blend also contains some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Only 353 cases were produced of this release.
Dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, firm structured blackberry and black currant fruits, licorice, spice, leather with hints of menthol and dark mocha, finishing with bright acidity and dusty, fine tannins.
RM 91 points.