New Year New Grape – Viognier from Lange Twins

Lange Twins Viognier 2008

Lange Twins Viognier 2008

My mission this year is to help you discover new and fun wines to try, as well as continuing to make wine less intimidating, more approachable, and ultimately, more enjoyable! You’ve given me some great feedback on the first post of 2010, where I introduced some of you to Albarino and Carmenere. Today, we take a trip to Clarksburg, CA and talk about a white wine from Lange Twins, their 2008 Viognier.

I wanted to talk about Viognier, because it’s such an interesting grape. It’s very difficult to grow, and “legend has it drawing it’s name from the Roman pronunciation of the via Gehennae, meaning the “road to Hell”*. While, honestly, the palate (taste) of Viognier doesn’t wow me every time, I absolutely love the floral bouquet (scent), which makes it a wine I do enjoy from time to time. However, that difficulty in growing the grape well can be seen in various bottles, where if the grape is picked too late, the wine is oily and lacks that floral bouquet. I was all set to run out to the store to find some Viognier to discuss, when I found this sample I was given from Lange Twins back in August of 2009.

Enjoy the video where I discuss in a bit more detail Lange Twins Winery and their Viognier. It’s not a sweet wine, but it’s not terribly dry either. I preferred the palate after the wine had been open for a few minutes, where it showed a bit more pear and pineapple than any stone fruit (peaches or nectarines). It paired really well with the Fettucini Alfredo and shrimp, and was a good food and wine pairing to keep in mind. I would love to serve this, or another Viognier, during summer, having some nice cheeses laid out, and just have a good time with wine.

The video mentions the sustainable farming practices of Lange Twins Winery and Vineyards, as well.  While they aren’t certified organic, the strict guidelines they follow to be certified Lodi Rules Sustainable Wine Growing are as strict or more so than organic certification, from what I understand. If you want to learn a bit about other Lange Twins wines, I’ve reviewed their Petit Verdot/Petit Sirah blend.

Let me know if you’ve had Viognier. And if not, watch the video, and then let me know if you try one! Cheers!

* From Wikipedia entry on Viognier, comes from O. Clarke Encyclopedia of Grapes, page 277

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2 thoughts on “New Year New Grape – Viognier from Lange Twins

  1. Hey Matt! Great job on the video.

    I wanted to touch on the sweet comment you made about the Viognier, since we get this a lot.

    The Viognier is actually fermented to dryness (all of our wines are) to 0.014 g/l – really low! (I think the detectable threshold for a wine taster is 4.0g/l or so)

    What people pick up on in this wine is the primary fruit characteristics and particularly the secondary characteristics, meaning the time it spent sur-lie aging. Spending 5-6 months on the yeast lees really develops a wine that has the nice textural, round mouthfeel.

    And, since it is dry, we find it better pairs with food because of the refreshing finish rather than a heavy sugar taste left on your palate. The acidity brought in by the stainless steel batch really helps the acidity as well.

    Keep up the great work, Matt. Looking forward to your thoughts on our Pinot Noir!



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