Haute Wines: Napa Valley’s Viader Dares To Be Different

Viader winery produces wines made from numerous red varietals that display an incredible combination of power, elegance and intrigue. Established in 1986, Delia Viader set her sights on wine making after discovering 90 acres of the most picturesque hillsides in Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain, one of its northernmost appellations.

Vowing to produce wines that “dare to be different,” Viader eagerly applies her love affair with the chateaus of Bordeaux, particularly Chateau Cheval Blanc, to her winemaking style, visibly making them with the intensity, muscularity and fruit of Napa along with the restraint and finesse of France. Made with uncompromising quality and attention to detail, Viader tends to all vines herself along with her oldest son, Alan, and they adhere to organic and biodynamic farming standards. Additionally, Viader employs consulting Bordeaux winemaker-extraordinaire Michel Rolland.

Viader bottles wines under multiple labels. The “DARE” label, Viader’s entry-level wines are made from tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc and are meant for daily quaffing. The “V” label is an exploration into cabernet sauvignon’s eccentric little cousin, petit verdot. “Viader,” the flagship wine, is blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc that captures the balance between the fruit and structure of cabernet sauvignon with the floral and aromatic qualities of cabernet franc enveloped in the roundness of French oak. Whether sipping rosé on a yacht under the South Beach sun, attending a barbecue in East Hampton or entertaining business in Beverly Hills, Viader makes wines for every occasion.

Where can the wines be purchased? Sign up for Viader’s wine club and take a glance at all of the wines produced and available for purchase. They ship to most states. Visit the Web site at www.viader.com.

Favorite Picks
“Dare” Dry Rosé, Napa Valley, 2008 – Aromatic, bright and concentrated, this wine is produced with 100 percent cabernet sauvignon grapes. With notes of black cherry, crème de cassis and hints of rose and violet, this deep pink, almost fuchsia, rosé possesses a clean mouth feel with tons of acidity and screams for anything from the grill whether it be cedar-plank-cooked salmon, pulled pork with mojo sauce or grilled churrasco and salsa verde. Retails for $25 per bottle.

“Dare” Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley, 2007 – For those cab franc lovers, this wine delivers the goods. Full-bodied and rich, it still maintains its feminine characteristic flirting with dark chocolate, flaunting its floral bouquet and caressing with its silky mouth feel. Enjoy with roasted game meats or decadent cuts of beef such as a kobe sirloin or wagyu ribeye. Retails for $40 per bottle.

Viader “V,” Napa Valley, 2007
– Made with 92 percent petit verdot and 8 percent cabernet sauvignon, “V” delivers a spectrum of rich dark fruit (think black currants, black cherries and figs) along with violets, bittersweet chocolate and baking spices on the finish. Ripe with personality and charm, “V” is rich, juicy and unctuous beyond belief. Although this wine can be consumed now, a nice nap in the cellar would help and transform this active pre-teen into a demure debutant. Retails for $100 per bottle.