2006 Bear’s Lair Viognier

Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per The Wineauxs “Tropical fruit on the nose – papaya and pineapple mostly. Feels a bit viscous in the mouth, some spicy notes, and a bit of fruit – quite dry over all actually. This is interesting as the finish is huge while the palate is somewhat muted….lots of spice and tropical fruit – papaya and maybe even some guava with lingering vanilla bean and at the very end some strong lime notes coming through. An insanely long finish for almost any wine, let alone one under five bones. This is a tough bottles to complain about…dirt cheap and surprisingly complex. I like my Viognier with more melon on the flavor profile but hey – four bucks? I’m sold.”

What I Think:

Google couldn’t help me find much here but Deb sure did. This turns out to be another offering from Bronco Wine Company which maintains no official web presence of their own. Guessing that is largely because their association with a label could often be considered detrimental… Anyhow having a little fun looking around I discovered a few interesting facts courtesy of Wikipedia. Fred Franzia is the nephew of Ernest Gallo and Bronco is the 4th largest producer of wine in the US. Massive! The Wikipedia page also has a list of their brands with Bears’ Lair accounted for.

With the weather as it has been whites have been on the menu often. Given my lack of appreciation for Chardonnay and the fact that I don’t find sweetness all that refreshing we have been drinking Sauvignon Blanc like it was going out of style. Having enjoyed some Viognier in the past I picked up this bottle, as well as the Honeymoon, as I was strolling through the Trader Joe’s Wine section. With a taco salad on the table it seemed like an opportune time to give it a try. To the eye the wine was golden, yellow and the nose showed hints of tropical fruits. Full and viscous is the best way to describe the first sip. The palate is crisp with notes of citrus before giving way to a nice creamy finish. This is a nice offering though subdued throughout. I am use to Viognier being much more expressive. At this price point guessing I shouldn’t be picky. That said I hope the Honeymoon is better. If that is true, won’t be buying this one again.

Rating: 12th Bottle

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7 thoughts on “2006 Bear’s Lair Viognier

  1. Honestly, my review was *strongly* influenced by an “I got change back on a five for this!” attitude. If it was closer to ten, I’d probably be less enthused – it’s a mindset I’m trying to break honestly – though I do stand by the fact that for a wine that’s not really my style, I was content. Believe it or not, earlier today someone recommended Honeymoon to me so next time I’m at the shop I’ll grab a bottle and we should compare notes.

  2. Wow! I’m drinking the 2007 version. I go to wine tastings and often buy $15-$20 bottles of wine. This had no price tag on it and I couldn’t recall when or where I got it. But I LOVED it from the second I tasted it. So, I decided to Google it and Trader Joe’s came up at $3.99….?????????????? I truly thought this was a $14 or $15 bottle of wine. Complex, fruity, happy, sophistocated. Definitely will buy this again and fool everyone!

  3. We purchased the last bottle of Bears’ Lair Cabernet Sauvignon Temecula CA, Trader Joes. Where is the winery? Is Trader Joes going to restock? The 2007 is great, but it was more than 3.77 a bottle. Still a great buy.

  4. Made a trip from Kansas City to St. Louis to Trader Joe’s to buy some more of my favorite wine, Bear’s Lair, and discovered that they don’t carry it any more. Does anyone know who does carry it?

  5. Have been buying Bears Lair Wine from Trader Joe’s in New Jersey and they don’t carry it here either. Tried 2 other wine stores and they don’t either. Where can I get it?

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