It's been awhile since I have joined the Wine Blogging Wednesdays. In fact, as I was looking through my blogs, the last one posted was WBW #66.
This month our WBW host, Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like in Virginia, is asking us to write about a Viognier (‘vee-ohn-yay’) or as they say in Virginia, "Viggy." It is only appropriate that Frank asks us to blog about this very aromatic white grape as in 2011 it was named Virginia's official state grape. It is my understanding that in 2010 there were 185 acres of Viognier planted in Virginia.
My first domestic Viognier was from Washington State, the other side of the coast. It was about 12-years ago and it just happened to be from the Cayuse Vineyards, which of course truly set the benchmark for me on all Viogniers. Since then I have tasted many terrific Viogniers produced here in Walla Walla: aMaurice, Bergevin Lane, Cougar Crest, Morrison Lane, Sweet Valley, Tertulia Cellars, to name a few ...
At this time there are over 390 acres of Viognier planted in the state of Washington. Not only have I tasted swoon-worthy ones produced in Walla Walla, but from other areas of Washington including: Maison Bleue, Nefarious, Syncline, and again - - to name a few.
So with all of these beautiful Viogniers, and many within an arms reach of me, which one do I write about? Well, you write about the one that you just recently tasted and one that is still on your mind, besides making an impression on your palate.
Robison Ranch Cellars Viognier - 2011 Robison Ranch Cellars is located on a fourth-generation working wheat ranch north of Walla Walla, so it was only appropriate that winemaker/partner of Robison Ranch Cellars, Brad Riordan chose fruit from the Dwelley Jones Vineyard, another long-time generation wheat ranch located south of Walla Walla at the foot-hills of the Blue Mountains. Yup, not only are we living in the wild west, but also known for our world-class wines.
The aroma from this 2011 Viognier pops and is reminiscent of the apple and pear orchards in September that surrounds us in the southwest area of Walla Walla. It also surprises us with hints of exotic gardenias. With one sip of this light white wine, it suggests that it will be sweet as cotton candy, but once again surprises us with crisp and bright fruit as in kiwis and starfruit. The finish is custardy smooth on the palate.
This is the time of year when that perfectly chilled bottle of Viognier is a great summer porch sipper and definitely a wine to be paired with food. Robison Ranch Cellars Viognier is exotic and needs to be paired with the exotic. Go grilled shellfish and vegetables, Asian influenced chicken or mild curries with spicy chutneys.
So as they say in Virginia (apologies to rapper/movie star Will Smith), even in Washington State we can also be "gettin' Viggy wit' it!"