Renwood Select Series Viognier 2004
This is a sassy wine, the kind that only communicates with you if you take it on its own
terms, and it works. Culled by Renwood from both Lodi and the Sierra Foothills, the wine
presents a racy acidity, a touch of sweet for balance, floral notes, white peach, green apple,
ripe apricot, tangerine and a cornucopia of other fruits, even a touch of pineapple and banana,
before finishing with a creamy minerality that has me thinking shortbread. The 89% Viognier
is well complemented by 10% Semillon and 1% Marsanne. As is typical with California
Viogniers, it sports a relatively high 13.4 percent alcohol; a hot weather grape that has been
given what it craves.
Viognier—back in the old country—gives us, in tiny quantities (the product of at most 100
acres), the Rhone's Condrieu, an extremely fashionable wine of late, and an
expensive one. Fortunately the grape translates to the New World rather well. The “ouch”
cost has been left behind; this Renwood set me back $11, and I know you can even get it for
less. I did have it with a dinner of chicken and capers, but not without enjoying two glasses
all on their own; the wine is up to that.
Verdict: Whole Lot of Fun
Sassy wines speak for themselves; as they want and when they want.
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman