Pedernales Cellars Texas Viognier 2014

Pedernales Cellars Texas Viognier 2014: Peach, apricot, honeysuckle, orange blossom on vivid nose—classic viognier characteristics; white peach, white melon, honey, citrus on the palate; this is vivacious with more palate-cleansing acidity than typically found in viognier; typical higher alcohol (14%) thanks to viognier’s long ripening; no perceptible oak; pleasantly pleasing finish. Viognier has been ascendant since 1990s, both as an alternative to chard and as a blending grape, usually with syrah to solve syrah color problems and to add aromatics and complexity (most famously in Côte-Rôtie and Australia). The grape is a Texas darling because it thrives in hot weather; on the flip side, it buds early, making it susceptible to spring frost (that happened in 2013, trashing much of the Texas crop), and has other problems because of its thin skin. As with so many elements of Texas wine, we shall see how it all shakes out. The grapes for the Pedernales effort come from High Plains near Lubbock from growers who give Pedernales an exclusive on their fruit. There is a reserve bottling that typically is available only from the winery and soars to $40 price tag; this effort is well-priced for its quality and well-worth a pour if you can find it. Another Pedernales success. $14Pedernales Cellars Texas Viognier