BEST VIOGNIER WINES

BEST VIOGNIER WINES

Viognier is a white-wine grape variety known for producing textural, aromatic wines with pronounced fruit flavors as apricots are the variety’s classic flavor associations. On the nose, Viognier wines can also be very herbal, with aromas of chamomile, lavender, thyme and even a possible hint of pine. In aged examples and sweeter styles, this potentially overpowering herbal profile is softened by honeyed notes. Just consider a fantastic grilled salmon and a mango and not a salad with a glass of Viognier.

Viognier

Like Chardonnay, Viognier has the potential to produce full-bodied wines with a lush, character. In contrast to Chardonnay, Viognier varietal has more natural aromatics that include notes of peaches, pears, violets.

The potential quality of Viognier is also highly dependent on viticultural practices and climate with the grape requiring a long, warm growing season in order to fully ripen but not a climate that is so hot that the grape develops high levels of sugars and potential alcohol before its aromatic notes can develop. The grape is naturally a low yielding variety which can make it less economically viable to planting in some vineyards.

The Best Viognier Wines are well-known for their floral aromas, and terpenes, which are also found in Muscat and Riesling wines. There are also many other powerful flower and fruit aromas which can be perceived in these wines depending on where they were grown, the weather conditions and how old the vines were. Although some of these wines, especially those from old vines and the late-harvest wines, are suitable for aging, most are intended to be consumed young. Viogniers more than three years old tend to lose many of the floral aromas that make this wine unique. Aging these wines will often yield a very crisp drinking wine which is almost completely flat in the nose. It is thus better to select a young wine for the ultimate in flavor The color and the aroma of the wine suggest a sweet wine but Viognier wines are predominantly dry, although sweet late-harvest dessert wines have been made.

ALMOST EXTINCT

In the late 1960s, just 35 acres of Viognier vines were all that remained in the world, located exclusively in the vineyards of Condrieu and Château-Grillet. Fortunately, the 1970s saw new life into the near-extinct variety, by the Yalumba winery in Australia’s Eden Valley and a handful of California winegrowers. During the 21st Century, Viognier has had a remarkable renaissance and is now found more widely in France, and in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the US, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and even Japan. In other locations, notably California and Australia, Viognier has emerged as a prestigious niche variety.

OUTLAW CONTRABAND

The origin of the Viognier grape is unknown; it is presumed to be an ancient grape, possibly originating in Dalmatia which is present-day Croatia and then brought to Rhône by the Romans. One legend states that the Roman emperor Probus brought the vine to the region in 281 AD; another has the grape packaged with Syrah on a cargo ship navigating the Rhône river, en route to Beaujolais when it was captured, near the site of present-day Condrieu, by a local group of outlaws. The origin of the name Viognier is also obscure. The most common namesake is the French city of Vienne, which was a major Roman outpost.

Viognier Wine & Food Pairings

The best selections could be mild creamy curries like kormas or spicy south-east Asian curries. Even curries made with curry powder work well as do spicy dishes with a hint of peach or apricot, echoing the flavors in the wine

Mild spicy noodle dishes like Pad Thai

Chicken salads with apricot, peach or mango

Fruity chicken – and even lamb – tagines with apricot

Dishes with ginger, saffron and coconut

Chicken, pork or rabbit with creamy sauces, especially if the dish includes a dash of viognier. More intensely flavored viogniers can stand up to roast pork, chicken, and turkey

Rich shellfish dishes such as seared scallops, grilled lobster and baked crab, especially with a hint of spice

Creamy and buttery cheeses

Sweet root vegetables especially carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes and spicy butternut squash

Salmon

Mahimahi

Chilean Sea Bass

Lobster

Crab Cakes

Pork

Turkey

Ham

Almonds

Creamy or buttery Pasta Dishes

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With all these great food ideas it is time to order and sample some great Viognier Wine. Please check out the selections below or go to our website for the ultimate source of all wine and spirits

Alban Central Coast Viognier 2017

Viognier from Central Coast, California

Barboursville Reserve Viognier 2017

Viognier from Virginia, Other U.S.

Cristom Viognier 2016

Viognier from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Penner-Ash Viognier 2018

Viognier from Oregon

Darioush Signature Viognier 2018

Viognier from Napa Valley, California

Miner Family Viognier 2017

Viognier from California

M. Chapoutier La Combe Pilate 2016

Viognier from Rhone, France

Yalumba Organic Viognier 2017

Viognier from South Australia, Australia

Guigal Condrieu 2017

Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France

Domaine Pichat Condrieu La Caille 2017

Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France

Peay Vineyards Estate Viognier 2017

Viognier from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California

Chateau Lagrezette Le Pigeonnier White 2015

Viognier from France

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