SUMMER WINE PICK: Cass Winery | Viognier | Paso Robles | San Luis Obispo County | California | 2013 | $24 | 88 pts

Cass 2Cass Winery, located just east of the town of Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County, specializes in 100% estate grown Rhone varieties.  Winemaker  Lood Kotze, who grew up near Cape Town, South Africa, and studied at the University of Stellenbosch, is an advocate of minimalist winemaking and brings about considerable purity in his wines.  This sleek and alluring Viognier is emblematic of his approach.  It is softly floral on the nose, offering notes white pepper, grapefruit, and sea mist; and on the palate expresses pear, lime zest, and baked apricot with exotic notions of pistachio and rose water on the mouth-watering finish.  Fermented and aged in stainless steel, it is dry, fruit-driven, and crisp, with zesty acidity that lends an enlivening mouthfeel.  How wonderfully this would pair with a cold seafood platter — oysters, shrimp, lobster, and the like — as well as gazpacho and fresh fish tacos.  Cass produced 1,050 cases of its 2013 Viognier, and national distribution is limited.  Ask your local wine merchant about it, or visit Cass virtually at www.casswines.com for information about ordering this or other Cass wines directly from the winery.

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