The 2018 Penya Viognier is the best value of this grape I’ve ever tasted. It’s hard to put into words how ‘correct’ this wine is in terms of aromatics and flavors, but I’ll try. If you love floral, highly aromatic white wines, do yourself a favor and pick up at least a bottle of this. Supply is limited and when it’s out, it’s out until the next vintage.
2018 Penya Viognier — On Sale Through May 11th
90 points Jeb Dunnuck
Let’s start with a brief discussion of Viognier and why the version from Penya is such an incredible value. Originally from France’s Rhone Valley, Viognier is a highly aromatic grape that produces wines with exotic notes of peach, mango, tangerine, and honeysuckle. The grape reaches its pinnacle of quality in the Northern Rhone village of Condrieu, where the wines typically fetch $50+ per bottle. And famed wine critic Jeb Dunnuck said this one tastes like a “mini-Condrieu,” and it’s less than $10!
Dunnuck went on to give this one a glowing review, saying “the Côtes Catalanes Viognier offers loads of orange blossom, white flowers, and citrus notes in a rounded, sexy, seamless style. It has terrific purity, no hard edges and a great finish. It’s an incredible value.” I’ll add that it maintains a freshness and balance hardly ever encountered in Viognier in this price range.
Due to the grape’s naturally high fruit sugars and extreme aromatics, if the grapes aren’t harvested at the right time, Viognier can be fat, flabby and boozy. That’s not an issue with Penya’s Viognier. They harvest their grapes a bit early and in the cool of the night to preserve acidity and more delicate aromatics. The wine is then cold fermented in cement tanks with no malolactic conversion and is matured on the fine lees for 4 months.
If you like to stop and smell the flowers, this is your new house white wine. Enjoy it with your favorite Asian takeout, especially spicy Thai, Indian, and/or Vietnamese. Or just chill a bottle down and enjoy it on the porch on a sunny day. Stop by the store and pick some up before the sale ends or the wine runs out. Cheers to happy drinking and eating in Asheville!
Owner/Operator at Table Wine