To my white wine drinking readers, let me offer my sincerest apologies… the last several posts have all been on BBRs (big bold reds). You are no doubt growing impatient as you wait for me to recommend a great white that is not a shark. Tell you what: we’ll change things up today and shift gears with a BBW (big bold white), how ’bout? 🙂
Hooray for Viognier! Today is International Viognier Day, and boy am I excited. Viognier (vee-ohn-yay) is perhaps my favorite white wine ever, and if you haven’t tried this wine yet, hold on to the edge of your seat, because you are in for a treat! 🙂
Viognier is a grape that almost didn’t survive. That would be a miserable world, let’s not think about that. But there were only a scant number of acres of it hanging on for dear life in the Rhône Valley in France in the 1960s when some erudite drinkers smacked themselves up the sides of their heads and said, “Wait a second, this cannot and shall not be!” Good on them for rescuing this lovely grape from virtual extinction.
While Viognier is still not terribly common, it is now cultivated around the world. In the USA in particular, California and Virginia are well-known regions for growing Viognier. Oregon and Washington also grow excellent Viognier. In France, Viognier wine is known as Condrieu (remember, many European wines are named by place not by grape variety).
When I learned International Viognier Day was rolling around, it did not take me a single moment to decide which Viognier to write about: the 2020 Signature Viognier from Bacovino Winery (see my post on their incredible Sangiovese). Sourced from Walla Walla Valley grapes, it is fragrant, rich, and full-bodied but still with pleasant, refreshing acidity.
Here are the details and my impressions of the wine:
- $27/bottle at Bacovino Winery
- Fermented in 100% stainless steel. Whole cluster press, settling for one day, cold fermentation in stainless, lees stirred weekly, traditional cold stabilization in stainless, then bottle aged for 3 months
- 14.5% ABV
- Pale straw color
- Rich, full body, supple mouthfeel, honey-like texture
- Medium acidity
- Enchanting aromatic bouquet: honeysuckle, grapefruit, stone fruit (peach or nectarine), and some tropical fruit also (kiwi and/or lychee)
- Refreshing citrus and melon flavors on the palate
I love wines from the Walla Walla Valley AVA, so I asked Bacovino winemaker Randy Brooks why he chose this particular AVA for Viognier grapes. He responded:
“Walla Walla is perfect for growing Viognier, warm days and cool nights preserve the natural acidity of the grape while allowing the gentle development of both aromatics and body. Viticulturists in Walla Walla have a wealth of experience growing some of the highest quality Viognier in the world, allowing us to make a well-balanced wine that is expressive and can be enjoyed throughout the year.”
Randy likens his Viognier to a warm spring day and notes that it “pairs exceptionally well with Thai food.”
There you go, folks! We just solved your Friday night dinner and drink dilemmas: Thai food and Bacovino Viognier for the win! 🙂
So how do we get our paws on this wine? the ravenous white wine drinkers demand. Well, you can order it through Bacovino’s website or purchase directly at the winery.
Sadly, Bacovino has low stock of this wine right now, and is not planning on making any more Viognier for the time being (noooooo!).
So, as Janis Joplin sang, get it while you can! Because once it’s gone, it’s gone!
Do you love Viognier as much as I do? Comment!
PS: Go taste wine at Bacovino soon! Or if you can’t get there in person, you can order their wines online. Here are all of their new releases (see website for several other current releases). Plenty to keep you busy, and let me tell you, they are fantastic! ❤
Signature Chardonnay – Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley
Signature Rivalon (blend) – Columbia Valley
Signature Counoise – Red Mountain
Signature GSM – Red Mountain
Vintner’s Merlot (extended oak aging) – Yakima Valley
Vintner’s Cabernet Franc – Columbia Valley
Vintner’s Petit Verdot – Red Mountain
Reserve Syrah – Red Mountain