Viognier, one of the world great aromatic grape
Have you ever wondered “What is that?” when a lunch date ordered a glass of Viognier with their meal? Have you scanned a wine list, seeing a number of French wines, or California wines, and increasingly Okanagan made with Viognier, and wonder what it taste like? All too often we stay in the safe zone with our wine choices, rarely venturing outside our box (or the bottle). After reading this, you’ll not only know what to expect in that glass of wine, but you will be able to pair it with foods, and talk about it, if you want.
Viognier is a French grape, not very widely planted there any longer, with less than 300 acres planted in its Northern Rhone home. Pronounced VEE-ohn-yay, it’s the main white grape of the French appellations of Condrieu and Chateau-Grillet, and often blended with Syrah to add an exotic bouquet to the red wine (as is C.C. Jentsch Cellar 2012 Syrah). Viognier wines exploded in popularity in the United States in the 1990s, and there are more than a thousand acres of the white grape there today. You can find Viognier wines from Virginia and France’s Languedoc-Roussillon regions in addition to California, the Rhone and increasingly the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.
Typical markers, or notes, of Viognier include white floral such as honey-suckle or jasmine, as well as orange blossom. Along with a honey or honey-suckle notes, you’ll also find stone fruit flavors, peach, apricot, nectarine, as well as a nice spice component that can be described as baking spices. On the palate, you will find it to be typically fuller bodied, often with an oily or “lanolin” feel in your mouth.
Food and wine pairings with Viognier include chicken and fish dishes, from grilled to broiled, or poached. Those meats, or others such as veal, with butter or cream sauces will also work well with Viognier. The white wine will enhance fruit flavors, making its great pairing with fruit dishes as appetizers, or as a topping with those chicken or fish dishes. Viognier will pair nicely with lobster, crab, shrimp or other seafood.
This is clearly food friendly, but also very nice white wine to sip on its own. Below are the tasting notes for C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2012 Viognier. Enjoy it today, and let me know what you think. If you favorite liquor store does not carry it, make sure you ask to be brought in.
C.C. Jentsch Cellars Viognier 2012
Decanter UK 2014- Bronze
Alcohol 14.1% Acid 7.4 g/L Residual Sugar 1.7 g/L
Price varies from store to store, expect to pay around $25.00 or