Napa Valley is continually changing and I love the movement towards balance. One of the famed houses with some serious history, VIADER is the brainchild of Delia Viader, who took the leap of faith years ago to plant grapes in uncharted waters in Napa Valley. For years Delia only made one wine, a Bordeaux style blend, since 1986. Holding a PhD from Sorbonne University in Paris, founding winemaker Delia Viader now collaborates with her son, Alan, to make their wines which are entirely sourced from their estate vineyard on Howell Mountain. A remarkable story, Delia stated Viader while raising four children on her own. Since starting the winery she was met with some incredible critical acclaim for her pretty style of wine that typically incorporates a large amount of Cabernet Franc.
Delia has achieved incredible success since starting in the mid-80s as she models her style of wine towards the great wines of Bordeaux, focusing on balance rather than primary fruit qualities. I have been enchanted with these wines and have been fortunate enough to try many going back to the 1990s. Delia’s son, Alan, served as VIADER vineyard manager since 2002 while studying winemaking at UC Davis. He has been lead winemaker at VIADER since 2006 and works with Delia on all wines.
I have been impressed with their newer wine in their collection, the VIADER ‘Black Label’ Red Wine, which has Syrah blend into Bordeaux varietals. I adored the new 2018 VIADER ‘Black Label’ Red Wine (OB, 96) which is dense and chewy with some massive aging potential considering the variety and place. I am just as enamored by the 2018 VIADER Red Wine (OB, 96) which is very tightly wound and really needs several years of bottle age to fully show its stride. This dense and decadent wine will go for decades. Learn more about this storied Napa winery at https://viader.com Here are the beautiful new wines by VIADER.
2018 Viader Red Wine- The sensational 2018 Viader is a beautifully terroir-expressed rendition of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Cabernet Franc, all sourced from this mountainous site set on a rocky hillside at 1200 feet. The stony aromatics really add to the enjoyment as creme de cassis, anise, and boysenberry preserve tones all meld in the glass. The palate is dense and fresh, with a sterling sense of minerality despite the heat of the vintage. Creme de violette, tar, roasted figs, anise and allspice all collect momentum alongside blackberry compote and a light dusting of salinity on the palate. This really needs time to develop in the glass, as several hours of air develop even more viscosity and tension in the glass, showing a gratifying combination of weight and freshness. Downright gorgeous even at the three year mark, this outstanding Right Bank style of wine will have another twenty years in front of it. If enjoying over the next few years, be sure to give this at least a two hour decant. Drink 2023-2045- 96
2018 Viader ‘Black Label’ Red Wine- The 2018 ‘Black Label’ is a crazy good blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon with 33% Syrah and smaller parts Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Once on the nose this takes on a massive range of aromatics from tar and tobacco to espresso grounds dusted smoked brisket and boysenberry compote. The palate is dense, plush and downright hedonistic. The palate is dense and beautifully textured, showing the same level of insanely good range. Smoked meats alongside volcanic damp stones, salted black fruits collude with smoky minerals, Earl Grey tea and blueberry pie on the palate. This is highly novel and impressive stuff that has the wonderful compliment of fruit and terroir to match. Drink 2021-2040- 96