2019 Cairdeas Winery Nellie Mae white blend
67% Viognier, 33% Roussanne
According to their website, “Cairdeas (we say ‘Cardis’) is an ancient Gaelic word meaning friendship, goodwill, or alliance.” Winery owners Charlie & Lacey Lybecker founded Cairdeas Winery in 2009 based on these qualities, all incredibly significant to them. The Nellie Mae white blend is comprised of Viognier and Roussanne, both grown in the Lawrence Vineyard in Washington’s Royal Slope AVA.
I smelled tropical and citrus notes of pineapple guava, mandarin oranges, green mangos, tangerines, and nectarines. A second whiff revealed a minerally aroma of wet cement, along with bubble gum and toasted marshmallows.
Owner/winemaker Charlie Lybecker likes texture so he left the skins (called sur lees) on both the Roussanne and Viognier until it was time to blend the final wine. As a result, this wine had the texture of lemon pudding and fuzzy peaches! That full, enveloping mouthfeel tasted of pineapple guava, lemon zest, passionfruit, white ginger, and marzipan. If you’re looking for a white wine with the weight of red wine, this is it!
Food pairing suggestions:
Vegetable stir fry with tofu, pork or chicken // ham and cheese quiche // halibut fish tacos
The winery is sold out of this vintage but you might find it online or at your favorite wine shop or grocer. Otherwise, look for the new vintage to be released very soon.
Follow these links to read more about the Royal Slope AVA and the wines made from there:
Royal Slope, Washington wine’s crowning jewel
2017 Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Syrah
2019 Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Viognier
2016 Baer Winery Arctos Cabernet sauvignon
2019 Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Sauvignon blanc
2018 Cairdeas Winery Concrete Syrah
2018 Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Chardonnay
2019 Cairdeas Winery Roussanne
2017 Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Cabernet sauvignon
2019 Cairdeas Winery Nellie Mae
Washington crowns the new Royal Slope AVA
Royal Slope, Washington State’s newest wine AVA