Viognier's home is France, especially in the northern Rhône Valley regions of Condrieu and Château-Grillet (the latter has just ten acres and one owner), where it's the only white grape used and produces magnificently fragrant, voluptuous and expensive wines. It's also grown in Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence, Australia, Brazil, California, Oregon and Washington.
The grape is difficult to grow because its prone to mildew and produces small yields. If left to overripen, it will have a bland, winery taste and high alcohol.
Signature aromas include ripe apricots, orange blossoms, peaches, mango, pineapple, guava, kiwi, tangerine, honeysuckle, spring blossoms, musk and acacia.
My reviews of these Viognier white wines are updated weekly. These Viognier white wines offer great taste at a good price. You'll find a definition of Viognier wine at the bottom of this page as well as food pairings for Viognier in my wine matcher. This is just a small set of my reviews, but you can get all of them when you join my wine community.
Viognier often has a viscous, opulent, creamy texture, even without oak aging. With oak aging, it also has notes of butter, cream, oak, smoke, tobacco and toast. Late-harvest and dessert styles have deeply ripe tropical fruit aromas.
Viognier is as intensely aromatic as Gewürztraminer and suffers the same problem of being difficult to pronounce. To wit: VEE-ohn-yay.
Viognier is often blended with other white grapes, such as Marsanne, Rousanne, Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc and Chenin Blanc. Sometimes, Viognier is blended with Syrah in the Rhône Valley's Côte Rotie or with Shiraz in Australia to soften the red wine and to give it an aromatic lift. This "seasoning" of about five percent of Viognier also helps stablize the wine's color and enrichs its texture.
Viognier is best consumed young, no more than three to four years after its vintage date before its heady, hedonistic fragrance fades. The exceptions are those made in the Condrieu and Château-Grillet, which can age for decades because they're aged in oak for several months before bottling.
Pair Viognier with mild curries, shellfish, ham, poultry, oily nuts, Emmental cheese, sashimi, sushi, lamb, butternut squash risotto, pork chops, lobster thermidore, carrot soup and roast vegetables.
© 2014 by Natalie MacLean. All rights reserved.