Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wine for the spring: Viognier

I know I have written about viognier before, but due to the local gorgeous weather, I thought it bears repeating. This mid-weight, rarely-oaked white grape originated in southern France. There, it is the sole grape in Condrieu, and is often blended with Syrah in certain areas of Cote Rotie. The popularity sent this grape to flourish in Australia and California where it is blended in the same manner with Syrah/Shiraz, with other grapes, or produced on its own. It is somewhat susceptible to disease, which makes it a touch rare, but the versions you can find out there are typically inexpensive and delicious. The wines have a definite floral note- think walking through the fresh flower section at Whole Foods- along with a bit of viscosity that will help it stand out in a blind tasting. For your money, I would highly recommend the Yalumba (from Australia) which is a bit on the crisper side, the White Knight (from California) which has some alcohol "oomph" to it, or the blended wine that Pine Ridge makes using Viognier and Chenin Blanc. All are wonderful choices for sippin' on your back patio, and will cost you less than $20.


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