The Best Viognier to Drink Right Now | Wine Enthusiast
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No Longer ‘Fat and Dense’: Viognier Has Entered an Era of Elegance

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Viognier (pronounced VEE-oh-nyay) is a white grape variety historically grown in France’s Rhône Valley. Full-bodied and aromatically intense, it is sometimes blended with other white Rhône varietals like Marsanne and Roussanne

Though Viognier has long been made into stand-alone varietal wines, it has garnered a reputation for creating wines that are considered overly rich and thick. But that’s no longer accurate. 

Winemakers in both Viognier’s traditional home and growing regions across the globe are increasingly flipping the script and “consistently producing elegant renditions,” says Anna-Christina Cabrales, Wine Enthusiast’s Tasting Director and resident Rhône reviewer. “Gone are the days where Viognier is just really fat and dense.”

These single-varietal bottles span a wide range of textures and aromas, making them ideal partners for boldly flavored fare like Indian cuisine, complex Thai dishes and Filipino classics.

In hotter vintages, Viognier wines often take on tropical, ginger and ripe citrus flavors. In cooler growing seasons, Viognier’s tropical, ginger and ripe citrus flavors take on a leaner expression. In these instances, lemongrass and spices, like white pepper and saffron, also join the mix.

The best examples deliver ethereal, elegant qualities. “It doesn’t feel like you are chomping into a bowl of fruit cocktail Jell-O,” she says. “It’s like a ballerina that dances across the palate.”

No matter the year or the region, however, these wines warrant exploration. “If people have not picked up a glass of Viognier recently, they should,” says Cabrales. 

We decided it was time to round up the top bottles on the market. From the Condrieu to California to Australia’s Eden Valley, these Viognier wines deserve space on your buying list.

E. Guigal 2020 Viognier (Condrieu)

An exuberance of perfectly ripe yellow and white peaches, apricots, melon, pineapple and delicate white floral aromas overflow from the glass. The palate is luxurious and balanced, with an abundance of melon, dehydrated pineapple, apricot, quince, candied ginger and oak spice. Impressive acidity accentuates its stone finish and helps reset the palate for another sip. Cellar Selection. 96 Points  — Anna-Christina Cabrales


Château de Saint Cosme 2020 Viognier (Condrieu)

White-floral aromas rest atop yellow peaches, with hints of fresh jackfruit and pulverized stone. The rich palate is balanced with honeysuckle, ripe lemon, melon and a pithy saline finish. Elegant restraint allows for this wine to be approachable for immediate enjoyment. 94 Points — A.C.


Jean-Luc Colombo 2019 Amour De Dieu Viognier (Condrieu)

Fruity aromas of ripe yellow peaches, zesty orange oil, lemon peels, succulent apricots and fresh honey make for a delightful nose. On the palate, it maintains its invigorating freshness, featuring perfectly ripened orchard fruits, citrus zest, stony minerality and a hint of white peppercorn on the finish. 92 Points. 92 Points — A.C.

$101.99 Viscount Wines

Materra Cunat Family Vineyards 2022 Estate Viognier (Oak Knoll District)

This smooth, broad and well-balanced wine is lush and full-bodied, packed with Bartlett and Anjou pears but underlain with a crisp apple acidity. While delicious now, the barrel-fermented wine has the structure to age and improve through at least 2028. 93 Points — Jim Gordon


$34 Materra Cunat Family Vineyards

Darioush 2022 Viognier (Napa Valley)

Handsome toasted-oak aromas mingle with subtle honeysuckle and peach nectar notes in this full-bodied, bold and mouthfilling wine. A rounded texture, good viscosity and lingering finish all add to its appeal. 92 Points — J.M.

$65 Blackwell's Wine & Spirits

Yalumba 2020 The Virgilius Viognier (Eden Valley)

This premium Viognier, from the winery that’s cheered loudest for the variety, opens with flint and almond alongside honeyed orchard fruit aromas. Viognier’s characteristically luscious mouthfeel dominates the palate. The fruit and acidity are quiet but holding on after a few years of bottle age. A subdued, food friendly and harmonious drop. 92 Points — Christina Pickard

$48 AOC Selections

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