Pindar Vineyards in Peconic, is one of a handful of vineyards on the east end the grow and bottle Viognier. Bedell Cellars and Martha Clara Vineyards are the other two who release their own Viognier. Macari Vineyards uses some in their desert wine, “Block E”. Others grow it or are growing it to add to blends.
Viognier is a difficult grape to grow. It is mostly seen in the Rhone valley in France where it is the only white variety allowed. In the United States it is grown and bottled in many states with California leading the way as far as production. Virginia is a little lesser known state that grows and produces some excellent Viognier. You will also find Viognier blended with Syrah (maybe 5%), traditionally done in Côte-Rôtie in northern Rhone.
Pindar Vineyards has produced small quantities of Viognier for years now, usually under 100 cases. With the 2010 vintage, assistant winemaker Edward Lovaas was able to squeeze out just a few north of 100 cases.
Edward also changed things up a bit when he decided to age it in neutral french oak barrels for a few months. He wanted to add some complexity to the wine and make it more rounded.
The result on Pindar Vineyards 2010 Viognier ($25) is a bigger wine than in years past.
On the nose I was picking up pear, peach and some melon notes with hints of apple blossom and minerality. THere is a nutty almost blanched almond note that really jumped out of the glass.
The palate brought more of the pear and apple flavors with some tropical notes. It was more floral on the palate then the nose with definite hints of spice and minerality.
Bright clean acidity cleanses the palate with a lush round mouth feel that made the wine very rich and creamy.
The finish, which was long, brought, what I will describe as a fresh sliced apple with a dusting of nutmeg.
The wine is not beaten to death with oak, there is just a sublet hint of it. The wine is defiantly aromatic and fruit forward with a slight hint of tannins on the tip of your tongue.
The important thing I found with this Viognier and most Viognier is that they should not be served too cold, just a bit above room temp is preferred, otherwise you will lose the depth of this wine.
Sláinte!*I received this bottle as a sample from the vineyard
- Long Island Vines: Pindar Vineyards in Peconic Use Size to Keep Prices Low (nytimes.com)
- Bedell Cellars 2010 Viognier (lenndevours.com)