Pale peach skin color. Deep, complex nose of apple, nut skin, apricot and minerals; this somewhat resembled a bottle of 1990 Pol Roger Winston Churchill I had tasted 15 minutes earlier. Thick, penetrating and solidly structured; rich, nuanced flavors of vanilla, minerals, apricot and superripe peach. Wonderful sweetness and chewy texture more akin to the Southern Rhone than to Southern California. Great building length on the finish. Close in quality to the extraordinary '95 Sine Qua Non white blend labelled The Bride.
The 1998 Roussanne and Chardonnay Backward and Forward is a blend of 30% Roussanne, 40% Chardonnay, and 30% Viognier. This effort is almost over the top, but I suspect when it is put together it will be sumptuous. The color is evolved, but the wine has surprisingly lively acidity for its richness and massive power. Notes of white peaches, honeyed apricots, coconut, and exotic fruits (was it mango or passion fruit?) challenge the olfactory senses. Full-bodied, dry, and thickly-textured, it should be a remarkable and individualistic white wine from Elaine and Manfred Krankl.