Do you ever feel like the outsider? The Outsider Vol. 2 Viognier 2020 from Identity Wine Co. is anything but.
About Identity Wine Co.
The story started with Cuban American Winemaker/Owner Pablo Antonio Suarez. In July of 2018, Suarez packed up his whole life into his Honda Civic, left Florida, and headed west to pursue his dreams of moving to Napa and becoming a winemaker.
In early 2018, Suarez decided to leave his sales job and pursue a winemaking harvest internship in Napa. With the help of sommelier friend Heath Porter, he contacted with Tony and JoAnn Truchard, flew out to meet them, their son Anthony and their wine maker Sal Delanni. After touring the estate and the facilities, he was ready to say yes and dive into a new life. It was the most rewarding experience but also the hardest he’s ever worked in his life.
That same year, he came across a private block of Cabernet Sauvignon and an opportunity to pick half a ton of some beautiful Merlot from the Truchard Vineyard. With his family, who was visiting him from Florida, he borrowed bins and blades and a rented white pickup truck and picked the grapes. This was the beginning of his inaugural “First Pick” Series Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot under his own Identity Wine Co. label.
This wine is special because it was his first attempt at making a white wine. White wine making is more intricate, requires more attention to detail, and requires expensive tank cooling equipment to keep fermentation temperatures low and slow.
This wine was sourced from a family vineyard located on the sediment rich clay and loam soils of the eastern bank of the Sacramento River in the Clarksburg AVA in California. The climate in this region is warm throughout the day which lets the grape clusters bask in the sun and heat to develop full ripeness. The cool nights mixed with maritime breezes moving inland from the Pacific Ocean in the west, cause early morning fog that lingers well into mid-day throughout the low-lying Sacramento River delta basin. This daily effect causes a perfect diurnal shift in temperature that allows the grapes to evenly ripen while also retaining their crisp acidity and freshness.
This Viognier was harvested in early September from the banks of the Sacramento river in Clarksburg, CA. The Grapes were gently pressed and the juice was immediately racked into a stainless steel tank to begin a low temperature, slow fermentation to unlock bright aromatics and retain crisp acidity. The wine was then transferred into four neutral French oak barrels to age for five months before being racked back into a stainless steel tank for bottling.
This wine was delicious and perfect for a day outside. It was pale yellow in color with an aromatic nose of white florals and tropical fruit. It’s dry, light bodied, medium to medium+ acidity, with a long finish. It had notes of tropical fruit like mango and pineapple, peach, citrus.
The Fun Label
With my husband being a classic car lover, this wine label immediately caught my eye. The label design is a tribute to Suarez’s love of 60s era film and advertising posters (another thing my husband loves). The palm trees and a classic car also pay homage to growing up in South Florida and his Cuban American heritage. He called it “The Outsider” because: 1) An outsider is somebody who is thought to have little chance at success and he originally considered himself an outsider to the Napa community. 2) The Viognier grape is an “outsider” varietal because it is more obscure and is not widely planted. 3) This wine is tropical, vibrant and refreshing, making it the perfect wine to be enjoyed outside.
I got the Viognier at Happy Wine for $20.99.