In the spotlight: Vi-Va-Viognier
Much has been written about her, she was even almost declared dead in the 60’s, but now she’s back and absolutely a trending topic in wine land: Viognier. This grape is fickle, talented, hated and loved. How much more ‘diva-ness’ do you want? Because that’s what Viognier is: voluptuous, rich, extroverted, original, intriguing and amazingly sensual!
Viognier has her own character; not the high acidity level of Sauvignon Blanc, nor that typical vanilla aroma of Chardonnay, but a nice and soft texture, rich full flavors of peach, apricot and honeysuckle, that are layered with the scent of summer blossom…
A wine for a large audience, you might say, yet sometimes it requires some research before you have found a good example of Viognier. That’s because this grape has a difficult and demanding personality that definitely needs a talented manager to guide it into the right direction. Harvested too early and it lacks intensity, a day too late and the wine has lost its freshness. Fortunately, when the winemaker made the right choice, then you may experience a gem of seduction. Sensual scents spreading from the glass and bring your head spin.
Viognier flourishes best when it grows in sunny regions with temperatures moderated by cool nights to maintain it’s delicate acidity. The best known area for this variety is the Condrieu appellation in the Northern Rhône (France). Unfortunately, the production here is minimal and so the price phenomenal. But, besides in the South of France, excellent price/quality versions are produced increasingly in a number of New World wine countries.
With what to match?
Seafood, poultry, pork.. yes, we do have quite many options here. Viognier is fairly full bodied and therefor it’s a perfect match for bold and even exotic dishes. Roasted turkey breast, poached salmon, or what to think of a Thai or Indian curry?!