Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Viognier 2012

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Seven Hills Winery Viognier Columbia Valley (2010)
Comments: Very nicely aromatic with hints of grilled pineapple over perfumed floral undertones and a bed of French toast dusted with vanilla, cinnamon and maple. A touch of wood sweetness greets the tongue. This firms up quickly to show good tension and acid spine supporting rather rich, fairly opulent floral peach fruit. There’s a touch more pineapple on the back end along with a hint of lemongrass before this drifts away on the firm and fairly long finish. Really well made, they really nailed this even if it’s not my style. 91pts
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2 Eberle Viognier Paso Robles Mill Road Vineyard (2010)
Comments: This is full of fruit blossoms on the nose, with layers of lemongrass, lychee and jasmine over bitter orange fruit. Big on entry, this is a rich wine. It is a bit slick in texture but full of flavor with orange, apricot and apple flavors. There’s plenty of acid and a finely managed edge of polyphenolic bitterness that enlivens the palate. This is in a fruitier style to be sure, but one that skates a very fine line. The finish shows a bit more phenol than the palate, but it balances out the sweetness perfectly and lends this a quince jam quality. A nice blend of intensity and structure. 90pts
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3 Praxis Viognier Russian River Valley (2011)
Comments: Lovely on the nose with focus to the exotic floral aromas and hints of creamy peach, grapefruit and ginger. A nice upright style of Viognier, this doesn’t spread across the palate but instead stays nicely bound to the rigid spine of supporting acidity. The texture is a touch creamy and the flavors recall the nose with a creamy style, though the peach, lime and apple flavors are fresh and bright. The finish fades away to a mineral tone before coming back with more creamy, tropical fruit tones. Very cherimoya fruit with a lovely spicy herbal overlay. Not a huge wine but nicely complete. 90pts
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4 Desert Wind Vineyard Viognier Wahluke Slope Bare Naked Desert Wind Vineyard (2010)
Comments: Lovely on the nose with a bright freshness to the lightly tropical aromas, recalling mangosteen, kiwi, peach and apricot, all topped with tropical floral notes. A vague sweetness adds some roundness here, offering up a fine blend of richness and clarity. The flavors are fresh and bright with peach and limeade on the palate and a lightly floral inner-mouth perfume that includes some fragrant apple skins. The finish is dry and firm, tense even, with good length and fine cut. Lithe and elegant. 90pts
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5 Jaboulet Viognier Secret de Famille (2009)
Comments: Rather stony and mean on the nose with a vetiver floral accent to the lean, dusty green apple and apricot fruit. Rich but soft in the mouth, this is broad and low on the palate with some earthy, slightly honeycomb-tinged apple, nectarine and quince flavors. The texture and freshness are the appeal here, made evident on the moderately long finish. In fact, the finish shows the full potential of the wine with more quince and apricot jam notes and fine persistence. This is very nice. It is filling out on the palate a bit and delivers a subtle yet elegant Viognier experience. 88pts
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6 Mounts Family Winery Viognier Dry Creek Valley (2010)
Comments: Classic Viognier nose here with clear notes of peach, jasmine, ginger and bitter orange marmalade over toast. Quite soft in the mouth with a light raw nuttiness early on, followed by diffuse flavors of honeycomb, peach and lime leaf fruit. The finish is light and fairly short, showing some alcohol as well as a return of the fine aromatics of the nose, but there’s not a lot to this on the mid-palate. 87pts
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7 Valley View Winery Anna Maria Viognier (2008)
Comments: Rather woodsy on the nose with grapefruit pith, pear, peach and a strong iris floral overlay. Rather soft on entry, this manages to retain some tension in the mouth. It’s a very smooth, supple style of Viognier, working on balance rather than intensity of flavor. With air the fruit does emerge, slowly showing flashes of white peach, raw almond and nettles. Those flavors pop on the finish with a light golden raspberry finale. Very relaxed wine, easy going but not sloppy. 87pts
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