One of California's greatest white wines is the Darioush Viognier - try it while this small-production gem is still available!
90 Points Wine Spectator: "This strikes the right balance between bold and graceful, with ripe apricot and mango flavors providing a fleshy texture, showing details of peach blossom and yellow apple, with refreshing acidity. Drink now."
The Darioush Estate Grown Signature Viognier derives its unique style from a four-acre vineyard site in the Oak Knoll appellation. The cool micro-climate of the vineyard allows this temperamental varietal to slowly develop robust and concentrated floral and fruit characteristics. The fruit, and resulting wine, is minimally handled to express its pure and fragrant nature. Honeysuckle, jasmine and citrus fruit aromas leap from the glass, introducing a vibrant and succulent mouthfeel of juicy peach and cantaloupe balanced by the bright acidity of Fuji apple and lemon zest. The 2014 Viognier finishes with lingering notes of dried apricot, nutmeg and vanilla bean.
One of California's finest Viogniers from the Master John Alban. Very limited.
93 points Robert Parker: "I continue to think John's Central Coast Viognier is one of the best values out there. The Alban Viognier has a wonderful, classic perfume: honeysuckle and quince with an intense core of peachy fruit plus accents of honeyed oats, baker’s yeast and citrus peel. The palate is medium-bodied, intensely flavored and extraordinarily fresh, finishing very long. So lovely!"
92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Pale green-hued yellow. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of mineral-accented white peach, Anjou pear, melon and orange zest carry a bright floral overtone that gains strength with air. Juicy, fresh and densely packed, displaying a suave interplay of richness and vivacity to the orchard and pit fruit flavors. Shows impressive power and definition on the strikingly long finish, which strongly echoes the peach and floral qualities."
91 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The Alban Viognier Central Coast and is a serious winner. Possessing an elegant, medium to full-bodied, ultra-pure profile as well as classic notes of caramelized citrus, white flowers, and hints of orange marmalade, it’s well worth a multi-bottle purchase and will keep for 2-3 years."
John Alban is a pioneering central coast master of Rhône varietals, and his Alban Vineyards label is one of the most sought-out sources for what many consider the pinnacle expressions of these grapes in California. His Viognier wines are routinely hailed as top examples of the varietal, and not just from his neighbors, but from many of the top players in Condrieu as well. From the winery: "We make two Viogniers: A Central Coast bottling that is often more than 75% from our own vineyard, and an Estate bottling. The former showcases the forward heady stone fruit of this variety. It is fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel and bottled early."