2015 Alban Vineyards Viognier Alban Estate Vineyard

Year: 2015
Appellation: Edna Valley
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 93-95
Vinous Media: 94
Jeb Dunnuck: 95
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.8%
Price :


"Also scheduled to be bottled soon, the 2015 Viognier Estate is up with the finest example of this variety coming from the States. Loaded with notions of ripe peach, tangerine, white flowers and toasted spice, it's rich, medium-bodied and crystalline on the palate, with fabulous purity and focus. It will certainly be as good as the 2014 and should drink nicely for 4-5 years.

After the cool, and then cold, 2010 and 2011 vintages, 2012 through 2014 is a return to the more generous, layered and voluptuous style of wine that this estate is known for. Looking at the 2013s, this was a more elegant and firm vintage for most of the State, yet these wines from John are loaded with fruit and texture, with incredible polish, ripeness and sweetness to their tannin. While they were mostly tasted from barrel, they're already hard to resist and should drink nicely in their youth. The 2012s are classic, rich, concentrated and structured wines that also show incredible elegance and purity. John is a big fan of this vintage, and as I think the scores and reviews here so, I agree with him. In addition, while the greatness of the Syrahs is well known, don't miss the Grenache and Mourvedre releases from this estate. They're just about as good as it gets and John is able to get more concentration, depth and layers in his Grenache than just about every other winemaker in the United States." (WA)

"Green-tinged yellow. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe peach, pear nectar, candied fig and pungent flowers, energized by a strong suggestion of smoky minerals that builds with air. Concentrated but lithe as well, offering fleshy citrus and pit fruit flavors that show superb focus and mineral lift. The mineral and floral qualities carry emphatically through an incisive, extremely persistent finish, which shows a suave blend of power and delicacy. I'd love to taste this wine alongside some top-drawer Condrieus." (VM)

"There's only 100 cases of the 2015 Viognier Estate, and it's brought up all in neutral barrel. Made in a much firmer, more mineral-driven, and fresh style than the Central Coast release, it offers lots of citrus, lemon peel, tangerine and floral notes, with a gorgeous salinity on the finish. Rich, full-bodied, balanced and pure, it's a killer Viognier and up with the crème de la crème of the variety in the New World.

If I had to come up with a list of the greatest wine estate in the world, Alban Vineyards would certainly be in there. Readers need to understand that this estate is an anomaly, lying at the very end of the Edna Valley, and the only estate in 50+ miles making wines of this quality. Vintages here marginally track the larger central coast theme, yet not always. These are singular wines. John commented that he thinks 2015 is a step down over 2012, 2013 and 2014, but that it’s better than 2011. I only tasted his whites, but like everyone else in 2015, his yields were decimated, so there’s very little of these to go around. I report on the red from barrel next year. His 2014s are all terrific as well, with full-bodied, ripe, classic Alban Style. Where this estate doesn’t track with the rest of the Central Coast is with his 2013s and 2012s; in general, the 2012s are the sexier, more open-knit, and the 2013s more concentrated and structure. In John’s case, the vintages are reversed, with the 2012s showing more structure and the 2013s just packed with sweet fruit. As I’ve written in the past, for the life of me, I can’t understand why no one else in the Edna Valley tries to make wine anywhere close to this level of quality." (JD)