All of Workman/Ayer wines come out of the central coast, specifically Santa Barbara County. It’s an area I’m only beginning to familiarize myself with. While it’s not the “Rhone Ranger” station like Paso Robles, it seems Rhone varietals do thrive in the area — and winemakers are doing interesting things with those grapes. Just take a sip of Workman/Ayer 2014 Ipso Facto white wine…

About the Wine:

“Ipso facto” is a legal term meaning “by the act itself or by the mere fact.”  The name is and to Michel Ayer’s dual legal career. After spending 5 years in Napa working in the wine industry, Michel and his wife Stacy Workman (Ayer) moved to Iowa City, Iowa so he could complete a law degree.  The two spent just over 3 years in Iowa while he earned his JD and MS.

(Read the Workman/Ayer 2013 De Facto red wine review to learn more about the couple.)

Workman/Ayer 2014 Ipso Facto white wine is made from 100% Viognier grapes harvested from Stolpman Vineyard in Ballard Canyon in California’s Central Coast. After harvested, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed, then racked off the lees to ferment using native yeast. This primary fermentation was conducted under extremely cool temperatures in order to slow the process — so the wine took several weeks to reach peak dryness. The wine was then fined, cold-stabilized, and filtered before resting in stainless steel tanks just before bottling.

13% ABV

Flavor Profile: Can white be creamy? If so, that’s what color the Workman/Ayer Ipso Facto white wine appears in the glass. It’s so light, but not necessarily bright, and has a warming quality to it.

On the nose, the Viognier emits beautiful aromas of white peach, honeydew melon, and soft, white water lilies. There’s also a background aroma of something savory — perhaps a soft, white nut like pine nuts or even a non-funky mushroom like a white crimini.

On the palate, the white is quite light, has a brightness, but is surprisingly low in acidity. This brightness evolves, calms, and leads to a soft, full mouthfeel. The creaminess dissipates, melts away really, and you’re left with a lingering heat of white pepper.

Flavor-wise, the wine initially parallels those aromatics with an added flavor of yellow apple thrown in the mix. Everything — from flavors to mouthfeel — is soft, but notably not creamy. But, like the Workman/Ayer De Fact red wine, with the Ipso Facto, it is all about that finish — that lingering, spice-filled heat that just overtakes the whole palate and makes you warm and happy to be drinking wine.

Food Pairing: I paired the Workman/Ayer 2014 Ipso Facto white wine with grilled tilapia on top of a bed of roasted veggies, including butternut squash, brussel sprouts, red onion, mushrooms, and just a hint of garlic.

Perfect pairing. The fruity elements of the wine did well to contrast the somewhat bitter elements of the brussel sprouts and pepper crusting the fish. Meanwhile, the softness of the butternut squash enhanced that non-creamy softness in the Viognier and the mushrooms brought out that question mark of an earthy aromatic sensed on the nose.

More Info: If you haven’t read my review of the Workman/Ayer 2013 De Facto red wine please do — it’s another testament to the amazing Rhone-style wines coming out of the Central Coast.

I received the Workman/Ayer Ipso Facto white wine as a sample for review. (Cheers Michel!) Retail Price: $24. For more information about Workman/Ayer, their wines, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Workman/Ayer website.


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