Viognier: Varietal of the Month

Marcy Gordon on Oct 22, 2021
Selection of Viognier along the wine road
A Selection of Viognier Along the Wine Road

Viognier Varietal of the Month
Viognier is a full-bodied white wine originally from the Northern Rhone Valley in France. Viognier differs depending on the climate be it cool or warm. Cool climate wines tend towards bright citrus notes, while warm climate wines exhibit deeper floral notes and ripe stone fruit flavors. Flavor and aroma will vary depending if the wine undergoes malolatic fermentation and if oak barrels or stainless steel is used for aging. Depending on the style, California Viognier can walk the line between a warm climate Riesling and a traditional Chardonnay. Best served with a light chill, slightly above room temperature to allow the full expression of flavors. Pronounced [Vee-ohn-yay]

Capo Creek Ranch
2019 Viognier North Coast

Pale gold in color the Capo Creek 2019 North Coast Viognier has an opening chord of honeysuckle and salty lemon on the nose. It thrums with a melody of stone fruit and spice with lush flavors of pineapple and creamy guava on the palate. A bit of orange pith on the finish adds depth to the body of flavor. Pair with grilled chicken topped with mango chutney.
ABV 14.1%

Mengler Family Wines
2018 Viognier Hoot Owl Creek Vineyard, Alexander Valley

Aged in neutral American oak for 10 months, the 2018 Viognier Hoot Owl Creek Vineyard has a light floral nose of honeysuckle and orange blossom. On the palate the initial notes of honey and lemon zest open up and give way to a delightful guava and candied violet finish. Medium body is round and balanced with medium acidity. Try pairing with honey vinegar roast chicken for a marvelous yin-yang of flavor. 
ABV 13.9%

Mounts Family Winery
2018 Mounts Viognier Estate, Dry Creek Valley 

Unctuous and lush the 2018 Mounts Viognier Estate, Dry Creek Valley is 100% Viognier has texture and presence. 4 days of skin contact before malolatic fermentation lend to its yellow amber color. A lovely bouquet greets the nose with orange peel, musk, honeysuckle and apricot. Great depth and balance with notes of beeswax and layered with favors of orange creamsicle, basil and ripe white peach. Pair with something equal to the flavors, like Pad Thai or Chicken Satay with spicy peanut sauce.

ABV 15%

Pech Merle 
2018 Dry Creek Viognier 

Straw gold in color, the Pech Merle 2020 Dry Creek Viognier is aged 50/50 in split of oak and stainless. The nose is bright and zesty with hints of lime and kiwi. The plate offers a generous bounty of ripe and creamy flavors including pear, peach pie, apricot and orange marmalade. A trace of bitter almond and pith on the finish gives it texture and balance. Pair with a spicy Moroccan lamb curry.
ABV 14.1%

Porter Creek Vineyards 
2019 Viognier Hayley Marie Vineyard Russian River Valley

In the glass the Porter Creek Vineyards 2019 Viognier is pale yellow with a sparkle of gold flecks. The nose is a steely peach with a green apple base note. On the palate initial notes of zesty lime and pith of mandarin are dominant. Given time to open the wine reveals a subtle creaminess of pear and peach cobbler. The angular tannins are balanced by a still tart but creamy finish. Complex and fleshy it’s a sure bet to pair with a something understated like turkey and a classic chestnut stuffing. 
ABV 14.7%

Thomas George Estates
2018 Viognier Sons and Daughters Ranch Russian River Valley

This Thomas George Estates 2018 Viognier checks all the boxes for a classic expression of Viognier. Pale yellow green in color, it has a captivating floral nose of white peach, salted butter, beeswax and honey caramel. The body is full with a classic rich oily texture. Flavors of lemon curd, apricot, lime pith and mango pervade with a long easy finish that’s balanced to the end. Pair with Chicken or Veal Piccata. 
ABV 13.7%

Williamson Wines 
2020 Frolic Viognier Mendocino County

Pale gold color with a tint of green along the rim, the Williamson 2020 Frolic Viognier is aptly named. It practically bounces ad skips in the glass with a bright lively nose of honeysuckle and orange blossom. On the palate, apricot and ripe peach balanced with a trace of tart apple zesty lime. A touch of pith and bitter almond on the finish adds lift and balances out the equation of acidity and fruit flavors very nicely. Pair with pan Grilled Salmon or a Panzanella salad. 
AVB 14%

Posted by Marcy Gordon

Marcy Gordon is a freelance wine and travel writer. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Wine Enthusiast, San Francisco Chronicle, Sonoma Magazine, The California Travel Guide, and Forbes Travel Guide. In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. She is the co-host of the award winning Wine Road Podcast.

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