Viognier: The Anomaly

Learn About Viognier

You seem to be in a perpetual state of identity crisis, Viognier. Your wines sway from the fruit-driven, clean, crisp feeling stainless steel aging offers and barrel aging, what with the weight and complexity it confers while masking your fruit. But as a wine for beginners, your indecision confuses anyone who chances taking you home. They just don’t know what to expect of you.

You are poignantly aromatic, Viognier, being a heady, super ripe and rich wine. Although low in acidity, you are a high extract wine packed with flavor. Up against a heavily oaked Chardonnay you stand up as equally full-bodied without any barrel aging.

With your low acid and high extract you are packed with flavor, Viognier. You reach high sugar levels, which translates to high alcohol levels. And that low acid quality is nicely subdued by an abundance of overripe fruit flavors.

You enjoy a long hang time, Viognier, and if you don’t get it, you will have a full-blown grassiness about you. When you do, you are luscious fruit flavors abounding in ripeness and maturity. In fact, you excel when allowed to over-ripen. This can be chalked up to your shyness; you just need time to warm up. But even then you are an unreliable producer and this hampers your success.

We can attribute your indecisiveness to your relative short time as a wine in America. In the 80′s when you first arrived, you were put through all the rigmarole Chardonnay endured: barrel fermentation, malolactic processing, sur lie aging. You were sorely misunderstood and unfortunately all this did was mask your ripeness and luscious fruit flavors.

In your homeland of France, specifically Condrieu and Château Grillet, you are drippingly sensual. You can burst with heady aromas and lush flavors of honey suckle, overripe peaches, melon and occasionally gardenias. Your creaminess can be likened to a mouthful of whipped cream. Unfortunately for you, Viognier, you aren’t produced much anymore in your homeland. In the Côte Rôtie, you are blended with Syrah in order to enhance Syrah’s aroma. Sad.

While you continue to dance in indecision, it is without question, Viognier, you are an exotic glass of wine.

Varietal Styles

  • High-Impact, Over-Ripe Fruit Flavors
  • Does Not Undergo Malo Treatment
  • Broad and Luscious Palate
  • Fruit Masked By Wood, Spice, Vanilla
  • Undergoes Malolactic Fermentation
  • Increased Weight and Astringency

Grape Styles
Grass | Lemon Grass | Kiwi | Gooseberry | Citrus | Peach | Apricot | Orange Peel | Tangerine | Mango | Guava | Passion Fruit | Honeysuckle | Honey | Ginger | Musk

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