by Fred McMillin
for April 14, 1997

Learn to say
Vee-oh-nyay,
For come what may
It's here to stay

If you're not familiar with the Rhone Valley's premier white wine grape, now's the time to make your move. Get one with grape flavors not masked by a lot of bells and whistles... ferment it in temperature-controlled stainless steel to maximize the flavors from the grape...avoid contact with oak so there will be no extraneous spice, vanilla or smoke in the wine. Finally, since this is just a trial, don't start with a pricey $20 model, but try to find one under $15. Fortunately, my panel located a bottle that meets all the above criteria and also outscored a group of Chardonnays in a blind tasting. It's actually from the Midi, west of the Rhone, which keeps the price down.

1995 Viognier, Vin De Pays D'Oc, Southern France
Vichon Winery (importer)
Oakville, Napa Valley, CA
$12

Category: Highly recommended in its price range


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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