Jeff’s Corner 6/26/20

Hey, Hey, Hey,
Today is Viognier day!

Not too long ago I was doing a tasting and I described our GCV Viognier as “a richly textured, extremely layered wine.” Our guest asked me what I meant by “layered” (a great question, by the way), and I must admit I kind of went blank.

I intrinsically knew what I meant, but had difficulty expressing it in words. I stumbled through a reasonable answer and then thought about it some more later that day.

I think we can start by thinking that wines can be one-dimensional or multi-dimensional. One-dimensional wines are very straightforward, the aromas and flavors we first encounter are what we get throughout our entire experience.

Multi-dimensional wines are “layered”, meaning that new aroma and flavor profiles continue to evolve in the glass. These new profiles become entwined with previous ones and the wine continues to gain complexity, becoming more and more layered over time.

Viognier has become THE dominant white grape in Texas, and in my opinion it’s high time for its silly, endless comparisons to Chardonnay to cease and desist. Aside from both being full-bodied and sometimes aged in oak, they are actually quite different. Besides, Viognier does not have to make any attempt at being like “Queen” Chardonnay.

Now, somehow this brings us to our brand new 2019 Texas High Plains Viognier. A few decades ago, Viognier was a relatively obscure grape (found mostly in the northern Rhone Valley) due largely to it being very susceptible to disease and low yields. Much like Malbec in Argentina, Viognier has developed a huge affinity for the Texas High Plains, and Jason has always been at the cutting edge of its rise to fame.

We just released the ’19 in our tasting rooms, and the staff and guests were both quickly enamored with it.  Our new Viognier is a brilliant pale straw/yellow with a subtle hint of chartreuse. With a food-friendly, sensible ABV of 13%, this is a perfect summer wine for red wine drinkers.

The nose shows an undercurrent of an intriguing aroma of musk flower, delicately layered with a tapestry of tangerine, lemon grass, stone fruit (peach and apricot), kiwi, and citrus.

These subtle, yet complex aromas explode on our palate as a very full-bodied, aggressive wine. A “richly textured” mouthfeel is in delightful contrast to the wine’s crisp backbone of acidity, and the finish lingered on my palate for at least 45 seconds.  Once again, this is a real beauty!

Let’s serve this textbook Viognier at 45+ degrees with seared Diver Scallops in a citrusy buerre blanc and, for an interesting twist, some creamy Gruyere cheese grits.