Although the grape variety from which a wine is produced is only one factor in determining its character, not all grape varieties are created equal. Much like guests at a dinner party, some grape varieties are more interesting than others. Some varietals are shy and like to keep to themselves. Some are loud and brash while others are soft-spoken and sophisticated. And then there are some grape varieties that are just plain sexy. Viognier is one of these grapes.
If Viognier were a celebrity she would be Marilyn Monroe. Voluptuous and full-bodied, with sleek curves thinly veiled by layers of complexity. She’s at once both bold and elegant, the kind of girl you would bring to your Mothers for dinner but can’t wait to take home after.
A great Viognier’s scent is intoxicating in the same way I would imagine Marilyn’s would have been; that first inhale haunting your memory long after she has left. Notes of perfume, fresh flowers, almonds, ripe apricots, peach and orange blossom are typical of great examples and they constitute Viognier’s unmatched level of seduction.
Viognier’s characteristic high alcohol and low acidity provide its characteristic lush, hedonistic mouthfeel. A great Viognier moves like Marilyn as well, swinging its hips as it saunters across the palate… its viscosity and texture unlike anything else you will ever experience. Flavours of peach, apricot, honey, blanched almond and fresh flowers linger sometimes for minutes, leaving you feeling like there must be some bright red lipstick left on your collar.
To find Viogniers greatest expression requires forking over a little moolah for a good quality wine from the region of Condrieu in the Northern Rhone Valley. Other great examples can be found from the South of France, Australia, California, Chile and more! Trust me, it’s well worth the hunt!