Amanda Schuster

Wine and spirits writer/consultant/marketer. Spirits expert w in depth knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese and Loire/Languedoc wines (you might say "bi-spiritual.") NYC born and bred food lover. Sometime jewelry designer. Overall broad about town.

Viognier, the Other White Wine

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Tortoise Creek Viognier Vin de Pays d'Oc le Verger (2009)
Comments: The flavors are more "quiet" than other Viogniers. Good acidity toning down the fruit, which is more golden apple and less stone fruit, also less cheap perfume aromas, slightly toasty. Nicely done!
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2 Praxis Viognier Russian River Valley (2011)
Comments: I like this because it's not too big. The flavors are softened, but still well structured. Good acidity with lemon mingling with the peachy fruit, lilac aromas, pleasing bitter bite in the finish.
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3 Saddleback Cellars Viognier Clarksburg (2009)
Comments: Not too agressive for a New World style. Integrated floral aromas with some vanilla and apricot. Medium-bodied, slightly viscous. Rounds off with citrus zest in the finish.
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4 Eberle Viognier Paso Robles Mill Road Vineyard (2010)
Comments: Happy to taste an American Viognier that doesn't strive too hard with the cheap floral elements. Integrated flavors, yellow and white peaches with a zippy, slightly sugary finish.
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5 Jaboulet Viognier Secret de Famille (2009)
Comments: Typical floral characteristics (a parade float of colors here), but these are well integrated, balanced acidity, honeyed finish.
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6 Brennan Vineyards Viognier (2010)
Comments: My first Texas wine!! Vibrant fruit flavors - cantaloupe, ripe peach, slightly honeyed, faint bitterness in the finish, but not enough to get mad at. I say "giddy up!"
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7 Paul Jaboulet Aine Cotes du Rhone Parallele 45 (2010)
Comments: Fruity nose with lots going on in the palate! Classic stone fruits and honeydew melon, citrus zest and is that sesame I taste? A great sipper that would pair with sweet and tangy foods.
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8 La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee des Cadettes (2009)
Comments: Bright, tart flavors on the nose (green apple, lemon), getting warmer and riper on the palate into peach, very zingy finish!
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9 Boekenhoutskloof the Wolftrap Boekenhoutskloof South Africa Syrah Mourvedre (2010)
Comments: Besides, Viognier, this also has Chenin and Grenache Blancs. An unusual blend, and the risk pays off. There's sweet fruit and vanilla on the nose, with some toast and sesame, which I think comes from the Chenin. The flavors round each other out nicely. Would be great with food!
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10 Sean Thackery Lyra Viogner (2010)
Comments: Smells like a spring garden, very sweet, floral and clean. Instead of the usual stone fruits, this is more pear and golden apple with a honeyed finish. Not overpowering with the floral aromatics.
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11 Sean Thackrey Red Blend California Pleiades XXI Old Vines (NV)
Comments: Perfect example of how to break the rules in style. This is a non-vintage blend of Sangiovese, Viognier and Pinot Noir. Turns out these tastes taste great together, and you don't need to declare a vintage! Stewy spices - dill, mint, bay leaf - toasty vanilla, sweet cherries, a little chutney-like. Sounds crazy, but it totally works!
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