Friday, June 18, 2010

Alban Vineyards, a viognier to remember

Just a few months ago, there was a wonderful wine tasting for media & industry at Marquis Wine Cellar ( ). I was fortunate enough to be invite by John Clerides, owner & patron saint, and still remember with fondness several of the delightful wines sampled that evening.

One in particular was the Alban vineyards Viognier ( ). Now this varietal has quite a story, from being of one the most widely planted in the Rhone region of France to being virtually extinct only 20 years ago. One man, a mister John Alban, literally doubled the amount of Viognier being planted worldwide by himself. A dramatic raise from 50 acres to over 100 acres if my research is correct.

So John Alban. Rhone style varietals grown and blended by a master-craftsman in the Central Coast AVA in California, and by Californian standards, at very reasonable rates. Consider this little gem...

2007 Alban Vineyards "Central Coast" Viognier
by John Alban, winemaker, 14.9%, $38 CAN **very good value
  • moderately intense notes of honeysuckle, floral citrus, melon & orchard fruit
  • moderate++ acids, well balanced by an exceedingly long structure comparing admirably to the nose. A touch more citrus on the palate, and far less exotic fruit and floral than is found in the "Estate" Viognier for $70 CAN
  • this wine softens at the end of the palate, allow more buttery notes to come forward. Expect papaya, tangerine, rich Gala apples to appear after the acids have calmed down. Pair this with fish that have some fat to them such as grilled salmon. Absolutely natural marriage. Also consider veal with roasted chestnuts and cream reduction - seems odd, but both would bring brilliant notes from this richly structured wine.

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