It is a sign of the times when an obscure grape variety like Viognier can attract global attention from winemakers and savvy wine drinkers.This esoteric grape is grown in a tiny parcel of vineyards in the Northern Rhone Valley just south of Burgundy. I tasted the two most famous labels from the region during my travels as a young man. I swear I can still recall the intense notes of peaches, mangoes and apricots followed by a distinctive racy minerality.
Viognier’s most famous French labels are Condrieu and Chateau Grillet.These wines were very expensive 40 years ago and remain a pricey purchase to this day- but entirely worth it. ($60.00)Remarkably for an idiosyncratic grape its distinctive flavour profile transfers famously to the terroirs of other countries.
The wine just becomes more voluptuous in warmer growing regions.Californian Viogniers (Calera or Fess Parker) are terrific at $25. Viognier from Australia and Chile offer stellar offerings in the $15 range At Fellinis we offer the Cono Sur Brand from Chile.Viognier like Riesling and Gewurztraminer is an excellent choice to pair with spicy Indian or Chinese Cuisine.