Praxis Cellars has been making Viognier for a decade, but the 2010 Praxis Viognier ($17) marks a move to sourcing fruit from the renowned Russian River Valley. Working on a cool-climate syrah wine prompted Winemaker Bill Arbios to switch to making a Rhone-inspired white wine from similarly farmed fruit.
The grapes chosen flourish on a rolling hillside, a southwest exposure that takes more sun than much other such coastal fruit, and resulting in some common threads to the hotter climate fruit used in previous Praxis Viogniers. As with all Praxis wines, the 2010 Viognier expresses the character of this single vineyard. All Praxis vineyards are are sustainably farmed…with care and passion that is ultimately expressed in the glass.
With this new fruit source, the wine is a little softer, and captures the rich fruit essence of its stellar viognier fruit. Still offered in a crisp European style, the wine is clean and full-bodied, with a lingering finish of ripe fruit. To retain the purest expression of the viognier grape, the wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks.
The wines’ color is pale straw yellow with green highlights. The aromas are fresh, complex and clean: melon, honeysuckle, vanilla, pineapple and especially freshly-sliced pear. These components carry across the palate, intensifying as you enjoy a sensory chorus of delight.
Our most recent winery addition to Locals Tasting Room is Bedarra Vineyards. The Bedarra Estate Vineyard is only a mile west of nearby Healdsburg’s town center. The epitome of a small artisan winery, fewer than 500 cases of wine are produced here in a year.
The Bedarra brand is inspired by the beauty and tranquility of the remote Bedarra Island, just off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, where proprietors Jeff and Brigid enjoyed their honeymoon in 2003. Around their home, they grow glorious chardonnay wines, made from their single acre of 15-year old vines. With the backdrop of tropical palm trees on one side and majestic mountains on the other, Bedarra Vineyards is as scenic as it is fruitful.
The island spirit is carried forth with their fun 2009 Beachfront ($18) wine. A refreshing blend of Estate Chardonnay and Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc has been married in your glass. A fun wine with a perfect balance of bright fruit, smooth texture and a crisp clean finish, those of you Nouveau Hicks who might remember the Portalupi Bianco should pay extra attention to this wine. Like a bit of summer poured into your glass, the Beachfront showcases why this Italianate style of white grape blending is becoming more and more popular!
The 2007 Bedarra Chardonnay ($19) has an exquisite, creamy, custard-like mouthfeel, all while reflecting a well-balanced acidity throughout and a long & lingering finish. Vibrant flavors of lemon, crushed pineapple and baked pear abound. A super value on one of the nicest chardonnays made here in these parts. The 2007 Bedarra Reserve Chardonnay ($29), even thicker and richer, has a refined elegance which might also enhance your appetite. The flavors, less citrus and more créme brulee, are deeply integrated and interwoven. A super match to creamy pasta dishes, chicken or seafood.