Viognier

When it’s good, Viognier is a peach-scented, round and rich white with a succulent edge and a nuttiness that gets more pronounced with age. Pronounced ‘Vee-on-yay’, this is an ancient variety believed to have originated in Dalmatia (present-day Croatia). It was brought to the Rhône Valley, its spiritual home, by the Romans. By 1965 it was almost extinct with just eight acres planted in the Rhône, mostly on the granite slopes at Château Grillet but since then it has undergone a renaissance and is now planted in many wine producing countries around the world. It is at its best in the Northern Rhône wines of Condrieu (it is also used in the production of many Côte-Rôties, with up to 20% permitted to ‘lift’ the Syrah) but you’ll find good examples, almost copies, from particularly Australia, as well as California,  South America and across the South of France.

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