Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Viognier 2013

Viognier seems to be enjoying quite a rise in popularity in the U.S.  In part, that may be because the grape can be grown successfully in areas and climates that are outside the well-known wine-growing regions.  For instance, Viognier is widely found among vintners in Virginia.  Virginia Viognier evidently first gained national notice in 1993 when a Horton Vineyards Viognier won top honors at a California wine tasting.  In fact, Viognier is the state grape of Virginia, and is grown by roughly forty percent of the State’s vineyards.  No surprise, I suppose, that my first Viognier was a Virginia wine.  Terroir being what it is and an integral part of the wine-making process, I was keen to see what this Trader Joe’s Viognier from the greater Sacramento area might be like.

Winemaker:  Trader Joe’s (ASV Wines for Trader Joe’s)
Wine:  Petit Reserve Viognier
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  Clarksburg, CA
Price:  $6.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:   A bright lemon yellow, this TJ offering was light-bodied with scents of honey, citrus and fig on the nose.  Acidity was quite high – racey, even – and alcohol was at 13.7%.  On the tongue, I found this Viognier to be largely focused on one flavor – copious bitter orange.  I thought it was an interesting light white.  I didn’t dislike it, but I wouldn’t serve it at a cocktail reception.  I think it should be paired with something.  What to pair it with, though, that’s the question.  If you’ve found a successful match for this selection, please drop a note and let me know.  With all that bitter orange, I wonder if something sweet and chocolaty might work?

 

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