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By Michael Dresser | January 19, 1997
Thirteen bucks is a lot to shell out for most wines, but not for those made from the once-rare and still-challenging viognier grape. This fresh, peachy, medium-bodied wine offers as much liveliness, structure and persistence as most $20-$30 versions. For those who don't live and breathe this stuff, viognier is a white-wine grape from the Rhone Valley that produces dry, flowery, complex wines that should be drunk before they're 3 years old.Pub Date: 1/19/97
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April 15, 2014
From: California Price: $16 Serve with: Thai cuisine, fried chicken This is a wonderfully spring-like wine — dry but also very fresh, fruity and lively. There are hints of pears, apples, tropical fruit and citrus. It would match up well with spicy foods but also is perfect for outdoor drinking on an April or May spring day. Unlike some of the more hard-to-find wines praised here, this one is in wide distribution. -- Michael Dresser , The Baltimore Sun
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By MICHAEL DRESSER | October 19, 2005
This stylish, substantial dry white wine - made from a once-obscure but increasingly popular Rhone Valley grape - delivers ample flavor at a reasonable price. There are nuances of peach, melon, herbs and lychee in a wine that faithfully imitates the style of the great wines of Condrieu. This is one of the better California viogniers I've tasted in recent years. grilled salmon or swordfish
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By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | September 25, 2012
From: California Price: $10 Serve with: Grilled seafood, steamed crabs This is a well-executed while wine blend at a very reasonable price. Though both of these varietals tend to be aggressively fruity, the blend is pleasingly restrained. The wine offers flavors of minerals, lime, herbs, juniper, honey and a touch of freshly cut cucumbers. It's not ultra-complex, but it is a refreshing wine from a reliable producer.
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By Michael Dresser | November 24, 1996
1995 Reserve St. Martin Viognier, Vin de Pays d'Oc ($11). It's rare to find a wine made from the sparse-yielding viognier grape at such an attractive price. The St. Martin could also surprise you with its faithfulness to the flavor model set in the Rhone Valley town of Condrieu, where some of the world's finest dry white wines are made. This wine, which should be drunk young, offers fascinating flavors of tropical fruit, nuts and coconut.Pub Date: 11/24/96
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By Michael Dresser | June 28, 1995
Leave it to Georges Duboeuf, the "King of Beaujolais," to produce the seemingly impossible: a good, inexpensive viognier. The price of this intensely flavorful dry white wine is about one-fourth of those from the grapes' ancestral home in Condrieu in the northern Rhone and one-half to one-third that of the recent spate of Condrieu imitators in California. And while it doesn't rank with the best Condrieus, it does a better job of capturing the lychee nut, peach, tropical fruit and spice flavors of fine viognier than do most of its American rivals.
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By [Michael Dresser] | July 23, 2008
2007 Stags' Leap Winery Viognier From: Napa Valley, Calif. Price: $25 Serve with: Salmon, monkfish California viogniers have been a mixed bag ever since the state's vintners latched on to this elusive and once-rare white Rhone Valley varietal in the 1980s. They routinely deliver gobs of fruit, but often in a ponderous package of low acid and high alcohol. This lively, nuanced viognier from the winery (which is not the better-known Stag's Leap Wine Cellars) avoids these pitfalls with breezy acidity and a perfectly balanced mix of flavors of peach, apricot, oranges, spices and marzipan.
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By Michael Dresser | April 28, 2004
2003 Yalumba Viognier, South Australia, "Y Series" ($10). Viognier is a wonderful white-wine varietal from the Rhone Valley, but it's easy to get wrong. Yalumba has not only gotten it dead-on right but has done so at a fabulous price. This medium-bodied wine is fully dry but its lively fruitiness keeps it from being severe. It offers a rich blend of tropical-fruit, melon, peach, pear, litchi-nut, coconut and spice flavors. Most important, it isn't too heavy or alcoholic and should match up well with salmon or any other substantial fish.
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By Michael Dresser | April 4, 2001
1999 Geyser Peak Block Collection Viognier, Alexander Valley, Sonoma Moment Vineyard ($19). Viognier, the classic white-wine grape of the Rhone Valley, has a somewhat spotty track record in California. Where it is very successful, it is often quite expensive. This limited-release version from Geyser Peak is about as good as it gets for under $20. It displays the characteristic flavors of a fine white Rhone - apricot, peach, melon, coconut and tropical fruit. That might sound like a pretty sweet mix, but it isn't.
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By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2011
From: Napa Valley, Calif. Price: $25 Serve with: Lobster, salmon, turkey This limited-release viognier – a highly distinctive and formerly rare white wind grape from the Rhone Valley – is worth seeking out. It's a blockbuster for a dry white wine, with lush, ripe flavors and floral aromas. There are bold flavors of apricot and peach, with subtler notes of orange and grapefruit, with a healthy dollop of species such as clove and nutmeg. It's one of those wines with the fascinating property of seeming sweet while actually being dry. Drink before the end of the year.
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By Elizabeth Large and Elizabeth Large,elizabeth.large@baltsun.com | July 26, 2009
Pairings Bistro has a gimmick. A good gimmick. And it seems to be working; Bel Air's newest wine bar seems to be doing very well, even in the middle of a recession. The name refers to the fact that every dish on the menu is paired with a wine - and sometimes two or three. The wines, by the glass or bottle, are numbered. The numbers are printed under the dish's description. So, for instance, if you decide to order the crab cake with shaved fennel slaw and Old Bay chips, you'll find that Pairings recommends having with it either No. 206 (the 2007 Ile La Forge Viognier)
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By ROB KASPER | February 6, 2008
You don't want to drink alone, especially on Valentine's Day. So I set out to find some wines that couples could cozy up to, even if they have differing tastes. In short, I was looking for white wines that weren't fluffy, red wines that weren't scruffy and a sparkler that was not too pink or cloying. Louis Latour `Duet' Chardonnay-Viognier 2005 Vin de Pays des Coteaux de L' Ardeche, France$11. (Distributed by Monsieur Touton Selections) A happy union of chardonnay and viognier grapes yields a wine with a bright apple body and lingering acidity.
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By MICHAEL DRESSER | October 19, 2005
This stylish, substantial dry white wine - made from a once-obscure but increasingly popular Rhone Valley grape - delivers ample flavor at a reasonable price. There are nuances of peach, melon, herbs and lychee in a wine that faithfully imitates the style of the great wines of Condrieu. This is one of the better California viogniers I've tasted in recent years. grilled salmon or swordfish
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | April 28, 2004
2003 Yalumba Viognier, South Australia, "Y Series" ($10). Viognier is a wonderful white-wine varietal from the Rhone Valley, but it's easy to get wrong. Yalumba has not only gotten it dead-on right but has done so at a fabulous price. This medium-bodied wine is fully dry but its lively fruitiness keeps it from being severe. It offers a rich blend of tropical-fruit, melon, peach, pear, litchi-nut, coconut and spice flavors. Most important, it isn't too heavy or alcoholic and should match up well with salmon or any other substantial fish.
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