09/10/2011 – Viognier de Pennauitier 2010

Viognier de Pennauitier 2010, France
Until a decade ago the Viognier grape lived in relative obscurity, appearing only in wines from the Rhone Valley as Condrieu, Chateau Grillet or as a blending component. Since then it has been planted widely and has been a variety on the up, with wines from Chile, Australia, South Africa and California, and especially from the Languedoc. Historically however these wines had a tendency to be rather blowsy and overblown in style with very high alcohol and a bit too much of everything. But the best producers have learned to tame Viognier and this fine example does the job particularly well. It has excellent Viognier character with peachy apricot fruit and pear, a touch of floral, honeysuckle personality and a hint of nutty richness. On the palate that full fruitiness is immediately restrained and the 13% alcohol suggests it was picked early, which also means acidity is good and the wine has a tautness that keeps it fresh and interesting well into a second (or third) delicious glass. 7.25, (6.52 by the case).