The tiny appellation of Condrieu in the northern Rhône, has long been the guardian of the Viognier varietal making its figurehead wine.
The aromatic Viognier variety is both subtle and seductive exhibiting fragrant peach, honeysuckle and apricot aromas.
The palate can be rich and weighty and is often marked by exotic fruit flavours, almond and fresh acidity. Viognier’s recently restored fashionable status has driven a rapid expansion of plantings worldwide.
It enjoys a relatively warm climate but it remains a shy varietal that yields small crops and is difficult to achieve a perfect balanced wine. Chile, California, South Africa and Australia have all succeeded with Viognier, but much of the best value Viognier heralds from new plantings in the Languedoc.
When blended, Viognier adds fragrance and complexity to the likes of Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay. Viognier can also help lift the bouquet and add finesse to red wines made from Syrah (or Shiraz). A small proportion included in the blend prior to fermentation adds to the captivating aromatics of Côte Rôtie and Australian Shiraz.