On Thursday, as something of a lead up to the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference, I participated in a tasting of Virginia Viognier along with several other bloggers, all of us sharing our thoughts on Twitter as we tasted. I would, however, be remiss if I didn’t share my thoughts on here as well.
We started the tasting with a Horton Vineyards Sparkling Viognier (SRP $25). I’d never had a sparkling Viognier before and given my recent increased interest in all things bubbles, I was certainly looking forward to trying it when I got the bottle. The most notable note on both the nose and in the mouth was green apple, and the wine itself was crisp with big bubbles. I loved this wine and it was probably my favorite of the night and one that was quickly gone.
Next up was the 2010 Blenheim Vineyards Viognier (SRP $19). I got a bit of honey on the nose with some orange blossom on the palate and a rounded finish that was unexpected until I looked at the tasting notes and saw that some of the wine had spent time in French barrels.
Third was the 2010 King Family Vineyards Viognier (SRP $25). Honeysuckle on the nose with candied fruit in the mouth with a subtle minerality that I wasn’t expecting. This wine was also oaked, but in neutral barrels and the finish was less rounded than the Blenheim.
Fourth was the 2009 Barboursville Viognier Reserve (SRP $22). I got a slight bit of petrol on the nose and grapefruit in the mouth. The Barboursville had more acid on it than any of the others though not much in the way of floral notes. That being said I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Finally we opened up the 2010 Cooper Vineyards Viognier (SRP $23). I got subtle floral and honeysuckle notes on the nose with pineapple in the mouth and soft, butter/oak finish which didn’t surprise me given that 40% of the wine had been aged in second-year barrels. This was probably my favorite of the still wines, which actually surprised me.
There was a sixth wine, the 2010 Deleplane Viognier (SRP $24), but my shipment got lost and I wasn’t able to taste it.
I want to thank the Virginia Wine Board and all of the organizers and vineyards for putting on a great tasting. Any time I talk with people not from Virginia I’m always talking up our Viognier, and events like this just give me more examples to show them.