Dena Drews and Ernie Pink brought their 2008 Amalie Robert Viognier by the store Friday. It is exquisite. They made a half barrel – about 16 cases, and it’s pretty clear that Robert would rather they keep it all for their cellar. With good reason.
There’s so much mediocre Viognier out there – blousey, high alcohol, simple, over priced. And then there’s the ambrosia that is Condrieu. Condrieu is the village in France synonymous with Viognier. The best Viognier in the world comes from there. Ethereal, memorable white wine that lingers in memory. Hard to get and quite pricey.
The Amalie Robert Viognier 08 is not Condrieu, but it’s pretty dang close. If you’ve had a great Condrieu and long for more, try this wine.
Viognier at its best has complex, delicate, yet intense scents and flavors, defying simple description. Just when you think you can describe what you’re tasting, the flavors evolve into something else. The Amalie Robert Viognier has this quality – it evolves and changes from first scent to the end of its long finish.
Overall impression? Intensity and richness – silky textured, a blend of exotic spice, white flowers, and fruit. In both the scent and flavor, honeysuckle, jasmine, five spice, citrus and creamy stone fruit prevail. Laser-like acidity and minerality lift the full bodied, sumptuous flavors.
Maybe scarcity adds to the cachet, but I’ll remember this Viognier as one of my tasting highlights of 2009. And yes, a bit of the wine is available.