Jeff’s Corner

Breaking news! Texas is finally being recognized as producing some of the greatest Viognier in the world, and Jason and crew have been at the forefront of this revelation for years.

All Texas fruit, our 2015 is off the charts, and when Kathy and I tasted it Monday night while having porch therapy she commented “This is one of the best white wines I’ve ever had; I think I’ll drink it all summer”.

We’ll check it out in a moment, but first a little history (and legend) about a very old grape. How it got to the Condrieu region of the northern Rhone Valley in France is shrouded in mystery, but some say it was brought there from Croatia by the Roman emperor Probus in 281 AD. Others say it was hijacked by pirates on the Rhone River near Condrieu on its way south to Beaujolais, hidden among some Syrah.

The origin of it’s curious name is foggy as well. One theory has the grape being named after the French city Vienne, which served as a Roman outpost. Much more fun, however, is that it took its name from the “Via Gehennae” or “Road of the Valley of Hell” which was an allusion to the difficulty of growing these finicky grapes.

Our 2015 Viognier is a vibrant pale yellow, and its aromas and flavors exhibit a rich contrast between fruit and flowers. This wine is a complex ballet of grapefruit, apricot, and peach dancing with aromas of wild honey, magnolias, and gardenias.

It is both delicate and full-bodied, with a rich, creamy texture that transitions into a lingering finish driven by fresh, lively acids. Once again Jason gives us a wine with masterful balance and finesse.

Let’s pair this with a great dish from Jay’s Seafood and Spaghetti Works in Port Aransas called Robert’s Flounder. I spent 26 years there as GM, and Robert Perez created this maybe 30 years ago. It’s a Flounder filet pan-fried in lots of butter, and topped with a creamy dill sauce with fresh tomato and avocado. We’ll be there next month, and can’t wait to see you guys!!!