After a warmer-than-usual September and early October, autumn is taking its time arriving. But when the leaves start in earnest to change color and the weather turns bracing, the time of year is right for a glass of Viognier.
Viognier, a fashionable white wine grape that originated in France’s Rhône Valley, produces the sort of wine that is just right for the fall. Most Viogniers have a fine medium body that stands up well to fall weather, and Viognier’s typical flavors — apricot and melon — tend to complement dishes prepared with all of those fruit-based sauces that are so popular in autumnal cooking.
So for this month’s Fruit of the Vine we tasted four kosher Viogniers from the 2009 vintage, all of which were good or very good, and any of which would make a rather pleasant addition to your autumn table.
One of the best wines in the tasting was Yatir’s Viognier. Made from Viognier grapes grown in the Judean Hills, which were fermented and aged in stainless steel, this luscious, fruit forward wine has flavors and aromas of apples, pears, honeydew and cantaloupe, with just a hint of fresh churned cream. With a straw color, a medium body and a satiny mouth-feel, this wine is ready to drink now, and should be consumed within the next year.
Also quite good was Galil Mountain’s Viognier. This budget priced, tawny-straw colored, medium-bodied wine was made from Viognier grapes grown in the Upper Galilee. While most of the wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel, 40 percent of the final blend was aged in new French oak barrels. This gives the wine some lovely, light hints of oak. Look for a bouquet of apricot, peaches and honeydew, with hints of kiwi and oak, and flavors of apricots, persimmons and peaches, with a nice creamy note. Drink within the next year.
Viognier is a wine best served in its youth, and should always be consumed within two or three years of vintage. So the next time you’re in your local wine shop looking buy a white for right now, pick up a bottle of kosher Viognier. You won’t regret it.