Although the five wines that were tasted from Bibendum range of Viogniers only came from France or California they represented the best of Viognier across a range of tastes, styles and prices.|
We tasted from their current range:
Ceps de Sud Viognier 2001, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France £5.14
Viognier 2001, Michel Laroche, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France £4.99
Vintners Reserve Viognier 2000, Kendall Jackson, California £14.99
Viognier 2001, Andrew Murray, Santa Barbara, California £16.16
Condrieu 2000, Pierre Dumazet, Rhône, France £20.56
Tastings in detail
Ceps de Sud Viognier 2001, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France
This is a light drinks party wine, pale golden green in colour with smells that are welcoming and full reminding us of honeyed apricots. The taste is of a wine that is fresh, fruity with good acidity. It lingered on the tongue with liquorice and a hint of ginger.
Viognier 2001, Michel Laroche, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France
Well known for his Chablis … how does he fair with this temperamental grape? A light yellow wine with classical nose and taste (according to some). It has a fresh, sharp start but not ‘in your face’. The honey comes across gradually as does the oak and you end up with a pleasant to drink Viognier
Vintners Reserve Viognier 2000, Kendall Jackson, California
This Californian offering is light on the colour, aromatic to the nose …. The taste perhaps delivers less and some felt it was a front of mouth experience with little length and lacking in class.
Viognier 2001, Andrew Murray, Santa Barbara, California
The second Californian Viognier raised much reaction. Here’s a wine to concentrate on not to gulp while occupied with other activities. Someone described it as a cross dresser i.e. a female wine in male clothing ( make what you can of that!). ‘There’s lots of wine here’ it oozes flavour – caramel, honey with a bright colour and enchanting nose. It may cost more but try it.
Food matching? No – this is a wine to drink on its own.
Condrieu 2000, Pierre Dumazet, Rhône, France
Hey we really enjoyed this …. Is that what you’d expect from the motherland? Here was Viognier complexity – layers of flavour. Syrupy strong with marmalade, intense lychees and a delightfully long after taste.
It is easy to understand why Bibendum won the 'Agency of the Year Award' in the 2002 International Wine Challenge. They source wine that is 'classical of its type' - and certainly these Viogniers demonstrated that. It is so encouraging to see a wine merchant whose wines show a commitment to consistency, quality and above all interesting taste. Keep an eye on their lists. But remember you have to buy by the case mixed or otherwise.
They comment as follows:
"Viognier has become very fashionable during the 1990’s. from Australia through South Africa, South America, California and southern France more and more vineyards have been planted with Viognier to meet the increased demand. It has become a popular variety for use in blending and as a stand alone varietal.
Bibendum was started in 1982, based on a simple idea – a wine merchant for people enthusiastic about wine, who wanted a full range of individual and interesting wines at compelling prices."
Visit their website: www.bibendum-wine.co.uk
For further details of Bibendum's Viogniers, please click here
For previous 'Featured Wines', please click here