2011 K Vintners Columbia Valley Viognier

SKU #1121688 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* A single-vineyard wine (though not labeled as such), this was barrel-fermented in neutral French oak and bottled after about four months. Honey and toast are delicate nuances; the minerality and pure expressions of lime and kiwi fruit are at the core. This has excellent grip and medium-term aging potential.  (12/ 2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale green-yellow. Captivating aromas of lemon drop, peach and mint; at once bright and musky. Nicely dry but with a touch of oiliness that reminds me of the Old World. Flavors of peach, grapefruit, lemon and nutmeg are framed by a firm spine of acidity and accented by minerality. Boasts lovely texture and sappy, saline persistence. Done entirely in neutral barrels. Impressive.  (12/ 2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Sourced from a portion of Den Hoed's Wallula vineyards high in caliche and hence active lime, K Vintners' 2011 Viognier was fermented in older barrique. Grapefruit, white peach and acacia in the nose persist on a palate luscious and subtly oily yet as brightly citric as virtually any wine from this grape that I can recall – for an effect as if it had been blended with Riesling. Cress, grapefruit peel, crushed stone and salt enhance the invigoration and saliva-inducement of a long and refreshing, if faintly bitter, finish. This won’t only be a delight to drink over the next couple of years, I suspect it will be worth following for longer than that too, and may well achieve a seductive patina. (The next day, it was peachier and more expansive but less refined or interactive.)  (12/ 2012)

Wine Spectator

 Fresh and tangy, with lively passion fruit and tomatillo flavors instead of the ripe pear and cream overtones one might expect. Drink now.  (11/ 2012)

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Price: $19.99

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By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/6/2013  | Send Email
Here is a completely honest disclaimer: I generally hate Viognier. I really do. It is not because the over ripe flavors, the general lack of acidity or the willingness of winemakers to try and make the varietal like they would Chardonnay but the ever rising likelihood that all three of these qualities are true. So when one does come along that betrays these common traits I certainly take notice. One such Viognier that I have come across recently that fits this bill to a T is the 2011 K Vintners Columbia Valley Viognier ($19.99). From a cool vintage in Washington this wine is fresh and alive with plenty of cut to go with the lovely tropical, but far from sweet or blousy, flavors of passion fruit, papaya, white pineapple, peach pit and a touch of cracked white pepper. The lack of any new oak here, the wine is aged in 100% neutral barriques, keeps the wine from becoming too viscous or coating allowing these fresh flavors to glide easily across the palate. Spring may still be a ways away but this sure tastes like it is right around corner and would be perfect with many of the early seasonal dishes that I’m am certainly looking forward to.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Viognier

- Relatively challenging to cultivate, this white grape's plantings were long limited to two appellations in the Northern Rhône - Condrieu, the better known of the two, and Château-Grillet - but its recent gains in popularity inspired plantings in the Languedoc-Roussillon, across California, as well as in parts of Australia, Italy, Spain and South America. Intensely aromatic and full-bodied, Viognier is prized for its aromas and flavors of stone fruits, d'Anjou pears and white flowers. In fact, its heady perfume wins it the honor of being a rare white varietal used in one of the world's top reds - Côte-Rôtie - where it is often planted amid the Syrah and co-fermented with that grape. The combination deepens the color of Côte-Rôtie and adds to its already deep and distinctive nose.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.