Virginia is for Viognier

Fifteen years ago, a Virginia Viognier won a blind taste-off against
some well-known California rivals. It wasn‚€™t exactly the ‚€œJudgment
of Paris,‚€ but for the Virginia wine industry, the effect was similar
to California‚€™s 1976 triumph over France.

Virginia‚€™s winemakers reacted by planting Viognier with viognier
abandon. The increase has been especially fast over the last five
years. So I figured it was time to take a serious look at the state of
Virginia Viognier. Is it hype? Or is Viognier living up to the potential
of that 1994 victory?

Good news ‚€“ while picking Virginia Viognier at random can be risky,
the best ones make the effort worthwhile. And the one that started it
all with the 1993 vintage, Horton Vineyards, is still among the
state‚€™s best. Today, however, the top of the list is deliciously
crowded.

Read my full report in today‚€™s Washington Post.

This entry was posted in Competitions, Eastern US, Virginia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Virginia is for Viognier

  1. Jeff Siegel says:

    Time for the Virginia-Texas viognier taste off. It’s not like California
    makes any decent viognier…

  2. Allen Clark says:

    Dave – Just curious, but was Chrysalis included in your tasting? I
    don’t believe I’ve had it since the ’05 vintage, but it has always
    struck me as better than the Horton (which I certainly like), yet it
    didn’t even make your top 8.
    AC

  3. Ben Mays says:

    Dave,
    My wife (Alleyne ’80) says you shorted the Michael Shaps by comparison.
    We drank it recently at the Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond, and felt he
    had somehow coaxed a french-tasting Viognier out of that Albemarle
    soil.
    Ben Mays

  4. I’m sorry I missed you at the Expo! But I don’t know a three-star
    (“Extraordinary”) rating is shorting that wonderful wine. Did you try
    the
    Shaps Cabernet Franc 2007? Amazing.

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