Random Rhône and Cosmic White Complexities

The 'topic' here is expressionate, varietal wines of the white Rhône grapes. One from California, one from Rhône itself. Easily two of my favorite whites I've come across this year.

Ripening Viognier Grapes

Paras 2007 Viognier... 

By visual, it looks clean with a golden colour. Bringing it to nose you catch wind of florals reaching way out of the glass, sweet and wild, dandelion and elderflower. Getting closer reveals layers of sharp and smooth minerals, classic Rhone. With nose in glass comes poached pear and cool nectarine pie. Drinking you immediately sense the full body, perfectly balanced all the way. There are strong immediate flavours of floral honey, butter, and vanilla extract, with hints of butterscotch oak and a little of that pie. Following are the mineral expressions preluded to earlier. It ends with a firm, dry, push of intensity with a little cumin spice. Thats what I got at least, everyone reads it a little different it seems.

At first taste I was shocked, at second I was in awe. Not like any Californian Viognier I've ever tried. A conversation inspiring white, perfectly balanced, about as complex as it gets. I cant decide if its subtle or forward. Dont buy this wine at J.Webb on 17th for $27.95 as stock is limited and irreplenishable.

Chateau Du Trignon 2009 Roussanne...

This is an amazing example of Roussanne as a single varietal, elegant, subtle, and some kind of abrasive. The nose is soft with ripe 'golden delicious' apples, canned pears, fresh apricots, and spring green grass. The body is fairly fat with an encompassing glycerol feel. The period of fruit is brief before turning sharply toward the minerals. Notes of stone, hay bail, pickled stone fruit, honey, and freshly sanded maple board. A subtle wine of intriguing character.

On the shelves of WineInk for $24.95. Quality wines like this from Rhône are often expensive, especially varietal releases. I call this exceptional value.

November 2012