Winery/Vineyard: Wiens Family Cellars
Product/Varietal: 44% Syrah, 35% Grenache & 21% Mourvèdre
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Joseph Wiens, Doug Wiens
4.0 out of 5 stars on Vivino.
How They Describe It
17 months, French, American, and European, 30% new
44% Temecula Valley Syrah
35% Temecula Valley Grenache
21% Temecula Valley Mourvèdre
Ease into the slipstream with our Domestique as this classic Rhône-style blend shows the best of each varietal. Aromas of ripe currant lead the pack, racing into a lush dark fruit core, followed closely by earthy notes, stretching into a long spicy finish.
From vine to glass, our family is dedicated to producing harmoniously balanced and skillfully crafted wine, while fostering a culture rooted in the idea of family, quality, and integrity. Since the Wiens family gathered in 1996 to plan our first vineyard, we have maintained our standards of releasing the highest quality wines with a passionate sense of pride and integrity.
Our 2017 Domestique is decidedly more elegant and nuanced that past vintages. A higher percentage of Grenache and French oak barrels allow the taster to appreciate the complexity of layers without overpowering body and tannin.
Food Pairing Ideas:
Cassoulet, Rotisserie chicken, Rosemary lamp chops
How I Describe It
While Syrahs can be deeply colored, Grenache and Mourvèdre lightens the tint somewhat. The Wiens 2017 Domestique splits the difference with medium depth. With less than three years between barrel and bottle, the colors shows as a straightforward, juicy-looking ruby red.
Cream and brioche waft from the glass, even from a distance. Likely from yeast exposure and a helpful amount of MLF, these notes indicate some of the steps Wiens takes to be the self-described “Home of Big Reds”.
Fruity aromas are an amalgamation of red and black fruit. From the Syrah and Mourvèdre come blackberry, black cherry, and a hint of plum; from the Grenache: raspberry and ripe strawberry.
Toasty smoke, nutmeg, and leather derive mainly from time spent in oak. And a tinge of violet, fennel, and wet wool round out the bouquet.
Each varietal in the Wiens 2017 Domestique is prominently displayed on the palate. Raspberry jam leads alongside blackberry, black cherry, and plum. Fruit flavors are complimented by subtle notes of fennel and freshly cut grass. The winemaker’s fermentation process comes out with brioche combines with creamy Greek yogurt. Vanilla, toast, and live wood showcase time in oak.
This is a dry wine with high alcohol, medium acid, and medium tannin — giving the wine a definitive medium-plus body. Flavor intensity and finish are both medium-plus.
Why is This Wine Special?
Over the years I’ve developed a deep respect for winemakers who produce red blends. Don’t get be wrong, I’m a big fan of single varietal wines, as well. But in addition to fruit quality, fermentation and aging, there’s an extra layer of artistry when it comes to blending varietals together. It hints at the winemaker’s personality, preferences, and vision.
The Wiens 2017 Domestique is a red Rhône-style blend, also known as a GSM. That is, the wine incorporates the three main red grape varietals grown in the Rhône region of France: Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. If you haven’t noticed yet, Rhône varietals grow exceptionally well in the Temecula Valley AVA, and produce bright, flavorful versions of their wines.
This is the second Rhône-style blend we’ve reviewed on TWR. While the first one was dominant in Mourvèdre, the Wiens 2017 Domestique uses Syrah as its base. The result is a delightful one-of-a-kind Old World winemaking interpretation, which can only be found at Wiens Family Cellars.
Which bring us to the winery itself. While most of the wineries in Temecula are family-owned, the Wiens family takes it to another level — and you’ll likely see the Wiens name in more than a few places around the AVA. One Wiens brother, Doug, makes the wine. Another, Jeff, runs business operations. And a third brother, Dave, leads marketing and sales. Sons and daughters also work in design, winemaking, and vineyard management.
The tagline for Wiens Family Cellars is “Home of Big Reds”. They’re not joking. Temecula’s warm climate regularly produces boldly flavored wines. However, Doug Wiens seems to take extra steps to add bigger body and heavier mouthfeel. For those who enjoy strong wines, Wiens offers up an exceptional drinking experience.
In full disclosure, the bottle described here was donated by Wiens Family Cellars. Other than providing the wine itself, there was no exchange of anything which would have influenced or unfairly biased this review.
Want more from the Wiens family? A member of the clan created Wiens Brewing in Temecula. And in nearby Murrieta, the Wiens family is expanding the Temecula Valley AVA footprint with Wine Ranch Grill & Cellars (review coming soon).
When & How I Would Drink It
This is a richly flavored, full-bodied wine. For example, the jamminess from the Grenache, along with the dark and spicy notes from the Syrah and Mourvèdre, can overpower lighter foods easily.
Plan to pour this wine beside grilled steak and potatoes, braised lamb, ribeye, or pork. On the other hand, pop the the 2017 Domestique after a long day and enjoy a glass or two (or more) as a fruit-forward after-dinner digestif.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $46 ($36.80 for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 843
Have you tried the Wiens 2017 Domestique? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.