I bought this wine
on a whim
. I'd read about Viognier
flavors and its relative scarcity
--and when I saw it in our state liquor store
I couldn't believe it. I don't normally drink white wine
, but I figured that I should take a walk on the wild side
every now and again.
The wine is very difficult to describe, since it's not really like Chardonnays or other, more common whites. It is quite a young wine, a pale gold with greenish tints at the edges, and seems to have been unfiltered. Perhaps this was to save money or give the wine a rustic character. Anyway, it had a pleasant fruity aroma and strong tastes of pear and a little peach. There was something about it that reminded me of champagne, but without the bubbles. This wine is traditionally recommended as an aperitif, and I concur--I drank it alongside some chicken marsala (chicken sauteed in marsala wine, with green peppers and onions on a bed of white rice) for want of a lighter meal, and while the Viognier didn't conflict in any way it did little to enhance the meal.
I did learn some interesting things from my Viognier experience, though. You usually get this wine as Condrieu, an AOC appellation from the Rhone valley, where some 280 acres are split between dozens of vineyards. I purchased a "Vin de Pays," literally "country wine," produced on about 12 acres on a vineyard near Aix-en-Provence (the wine, interestingly, was labeled as "Viognier," in much the same manner as American varietals are labeled). Vins de Pays are two steps down on the quality ladder from AOCs (and only one step up from "Vins de table" or rotgut), but supposedly can offer good value if you know where to look. I paid $13 for this wine, and I think the quality of the wine justified it. I may look for other products from this vineyard in the future.
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