Maison Les Alexandrins Viognier 2021

Medium gold color; peach, apricot, pear, honeysuckle, nectarine, citrus, minerality, spring flowers on the nose and palate.

Maison Les Alexandrins Viognier 2021

Dry; no tannins, adequate acidity. Light-medium body. Fresh; diaphanously light fruit flavors—struggles a bit to find focus and definition. Very pleasant if not distinctive, or maybe distinctive for being demure. Pure viognier effort. 13% ABV

Maison Les Alexandrins is the story of three friends—they list themselves on the back label. Nicolas Jaboulet is the sixth generation of a winegrowing family in Tain ‘Hermitage, from which the grapes for this effort come. Guillaume Sorrel is the son of Marc Sorrel of Domaine Sorrel in Hermitage. Alexandre Caso is a specialist in the terroirs of the northern Rhône. They have worked parcels in Crozes-Hermitage since 2012, with an emphasis on presenting varietally correct wines that reflect the terroir. This effort achieves that in an unaggressive, deferential style.

Maison Les Alexandrins landing page

Viognier is a white wine most closely associated with the Rhône Valley, but increasingly grown now, principally for its aromatic contribution to blends. In spite of the delicacy of its aromatics and fruit, it can produce full-body wines with a lush, soft character. It does not play well with oxygen, so many winemakers avoid barrel fermentation or aging. Maison Les Alexandrins went with stainless steel throughout to preserve freshness, aromatics, and fruit purity. Because of its delicate nature, viognier wines are best drunk young.

Maison Les Alexandrins principals

The winery gives a summary of the grape’s origins: “The birthplace of the Viognier grape variety is located in Condrieu and on the slopes of neighbouring villages. Until recently, this variety was only grown here. Legend has it that the original provenance of Viognier is the Dalmatian coast and the variety was brought to France by the Roman Emperor Probus. However, while it takes its name from the Celtic word vidu (wood), found in the Savoyard place name Vions, a 2004 DNA analysis revealed its Alpine origins. A Piedmont variety, Freisa, is a close relation.”

Maison Les Alexandrins Viognier 2021 is light, affable effort. Freshness is its leading characteristic. It has correct fruit and aromatics for viognier, albeit subdued. It is inoffensive rather than memorable, but also surely a thirst-quenching, light-hearted libation. It is built to be a starter pour, an aperitif wine for a multi-dimensional meal—a prelude for things to come rather than a lead player in the drama. Works best as an aperitif paired with seafood canapés or other lighter finger foods. Could pair with garden salads; light fish; light vegetarian fare. Cheese—creamy style like délice de Bourgogne, triple cream brie; gorgonzola, emmental, gruyère, comté. $18-20

Maison Les Alexandrins website

Maison Les Alexandrins fermentation