Viognier is my favorite white varietal. I love this grape! However, I can get a bit persnickity about it as I think there are very few exceptional Viogniers and some can be -- just -- eh -- mediocre. The mediocre can often start out like a traditional Viognier, but often end either very acidic or just doesn't go anywhere. To me the sign of an outstanding Viognier is one that lingers and that is exactly how I would describe the Viognier from Lowden Hills - it lingers like airy cotton candy on the tongue.
Jim and Sonja's Lowden Hills Estate (Win Chester) Viognier - 2005, was one of the wines I served for a small birthday party the other night. As guests walked in the door they immediately received a glass of this wine. I did this for a reason, as I knew some of them would turn their noses up at a white wine and I was determined they were going to try something new -- a treat. Those who were fortunate enough to be related to me also received my lecture of "...if you are going to be a wine connaisseur you need to learn to drink whites..." Everyone commented that the first thing they smelled were the pears and all agreed on the elegance of this wine. My goal for the evening was accomplished.
The nose was very aromatic of pears and honeysuckle. The flavors were rich in pears, peaches with a hint of orange. As one of my guests (also a fan of Viognier and not a relative) described and summed up the finish of this Lowden Hill's wine -- "it is a gift that keeps on giving."