When Dennis Horton first planted the now popular Viognier grape variety in the early 90’s, there was said to be less that 350 acres planted in the world. This rare white wine grape variety could be found namely in the appellation of Condrieu where it was losing acreage to other well behaved and popular varieties. Viognier can now be found in most wine producing regions and has made quite a comeback in France where thousands of acres are now planted with the aid of research and better site selection. Condrieu is indeed the pinnacle of Viognier success, but Virginia also produces some excellent examples. The aromatic and fashionable white wine can be found at a great number of Virginia wineries. Many local drinkers think Viognier to be the flagship white wine of Virginia. May I ask you to guess the red? Hint; I just hosted a wine tasting where this varietal took center stage.
2005 was a good year for Viognier in Virginia and we have tasted a number of noteworthy selections this year. As elegant as Viognier may be, it is not a wine that gains complexity with age. The best are to be drunk young, so find a bottle and enjoy it as I did the Horton Viognier 2005.
Elegant and floral describes Horton’s current vintage. On the nose are nice floral notes with lush honey, vanilla and apricots flavors on the palate. This wine is priced at $20 (at winery) and can be found at the winery, local wine stores and grocers. Viognier generally pairs well with grilled fish, white meats and mild chesses and of course on its own. Has anyone enjoyed any other Virginia Viognier this year? If so please leave a comment or drop me an email.
Stay tuned for the following:
- Visit to Lost Creek Vineyards.
- Dezel gets Twisted with a CA Viognier and a rubber chicken.