Dennis Horton, owner of Horton Vineyards, introduced Viognier to Virginia and his prized 1993 vintage garnered national attention. Horton’s early success with the exquisite northern Rhone variety encouraged local growers to plant Viognier and producers to bottle it as a single varietal wine. Nearly two decades later, the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office designated Viognier as the state’s signature grape. Good move from a marketing perspective because there are some delicious local examples being produced to support the designation. That being said, there’s not a uniform regional /distinctive style and quality is inconsistent across the board. One winemaker that consistently produces good results with Viognier is South African winemaker Stephen Barnard. One of my first, and tasty I might add, experiences with Stephen’s Viognier came by way of a bottle of Rappahannock Cellar’s 2005 Reserve. This wine would go on to win the Virginia 2006 Governor’s Cup from over a field of 200 entries and Stephen would take his talents to Keswick Vineyards. From the 2005 selection to current, I haven’t missed a vintage. Today’s ‘Quick Sip,’ the Keswick Vineyard's 2009 Reserve Viognier, is also a Virginia Governor Cup gold medal winner. One might say that Mr. Barnard has the "Midas touch" with Viognier.
Keswick makes a few different styles of Viognier ranging from crisp and dry to a scrumptious dessert wine. The Keswick Vineyards 2009 Reserve Viognier, clear lemon yellow in color, offers scents of apricot, lightly spiced pear and melon, with notes of nutmeg and baking spice. This wine is smooth and round on the palate, with a moderately viscous texture that's framed with good acidity and finishing with touches of pear and sweet spice. The Keswick Vineyards 2009 Reserve Viognier clocks in at 14.1% ABV and the suggested retail price is $24.95. This wine is a delight to sip on its own and a good match for grilled chicken or pork loin. If you are interested in Keswick’s Viognier wines and other selections and are not local, visit their website below – they are able to ship to a number of US states. Cheers!
Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at email@example.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!
CLICK HERE to visist Keswick Vineyard's website.
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