Viognier – Fifty years ago, there were only 14 ha of this white grape planted in Condrieu AC and at tiny Chateau Grillet in the Northern Rhone’s Cote Rotie. However, now it’s literally planted everywhere in the world.
It’s either a half sibling or a grandparent to Syrah and it’s related to Freisia, which means it’s also a cousin of some sort to Nebbiolo.
Most is planted in France (4300 ha), but there is actually 93 ha in Virginia where it’s the state grape (really!) and there is actually quite a bit grown in British Columbia.
This example is 100% Viognier that was grown in gravelly loam and aged in 33% new oak barrels (French oak and acacia) for 6 months. There were 475 cases produced.
Pale lemon with legs, the nose has medium intensity and shows lemon, grapefruit and apricot with honey, hazelnut and pronounced oak. The palate is dry with medium acidity, alcohol, body and flavours which echo the palate with lemon, apricot and honey, cooked grapefruit, nuts and oaky toast. The finish is (surprise) medium.
Pronounced oak detracted from the fresh fruit and citrus. A WSET ‘Good’ wine that is youthful and drinking now; do not hold.