With its first, estate vineyard planted in 1998, Nefarious Cellars Winery – based in Chelan WA – is run by husband/wife team of Dean and Heather Neff. He makes the reds and she makes the whites – seems like a cool combination. We ran by their booth at the Taste WA event a couple of months ago and I’ve been intrigued by their wines since.
2007 Viognier: W.E.P. Scale Rating: %100
Residual Sugar .6 g/100mL
Stainless steel fermentation.
This is the first wine to be released from our estate fruit located on the winery property in Lake Chelan.
Production: 198 cases
Official Release Date: April 18, 2008
Winemaker: Heather Neff
Nose: Pears, very floral, some apple components and orange peel going on which I appreciate.
Taste; Good spiciness coupled with bosch pears, apples and hints of green apple skin. Solid fruit across the entire palate with a nice, lingering finish. Excellent balance of acidity and fruit which I know will appeal to a lot of people.
2007 Viogner Summary:
I really liked this wine – a lot – as a huge fan of Viognier, I felt Heather really nailed this one. It screams summertime foods, spicy thai food or it’s just great to drink on its own. At $19 it’s a bit higher than competing bottles from the likes of Maryhill and other makers of fine Washington Viognier, however, does a great job of competing. If you’re new to Viogner and want to taste a great one, then give this a go.
2006 Cabernet Franc: W.E.P. Scale Rating: 90%
TA: .60 g/100mL
This wine spent 18 months in all French oak barrels. 33% is new and the remainder once-filled.
Vineyard: Weinbau Vineyard, Wahluke Slope AVA
Production: 70 cases
Official Release Date: June 1, 2007
Winemaker: Dean Neff
Nose: Creamed cherries and raspberries on the nose. Some big-league chew bubble gum as well. White pepper.
Taste: huge dark cherry component mixed with chocolate, vanilla and pepper. The finish lingers on quite nicely – this would be a great wine with prime rib or peppered steaks.
2006 Cabernet Franc Summary:
Most of you know I’m a huge fan of quality-to-price-ratio – having said that, there are definitely some things to appreciate about this wine – it has good complexity, finishes well and is very food-friendly. My only dilemma is its price – at $28, there are other wines in that price category which I favor a bit more. If you can find this wine at retail for well under $25, I’d easily recommend it is a good bottle and should be tried by folks. If Nefarious can get the price down a bit, we’d have an easy contender.