These past few days have been beautiful! It may be a little chilly, but it still feels nice to bring out some of my cold white varietals to sip on. This past week was the perfect time to bring out one of my favorite varietals: Viognier. This time I opted to try Silvan Ridge Winery’s 2011 Viognier from the Rogue Valley. Wow! The 2011 Viognier is the perfect example of some of the fantastic wines coming out of our beautiful state.
Silvan Ridge Winery is a staple of our Southern Willamette Valley wineries. It originally opened in 1979 and has been producing high quality varietals since. Jonathan Oberlander of J.Scott Cellars was the winemaker there for many years before forming his own urban winery. The current winemaker, Juan Pablo “JP” Valot has quite a background. He hails from South America, and studied at University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. He has worked at wineries all over Argentina and Oregon alike. He has held down many jobs within the winery and vineyard setting. This experience has lead to him producing some pretty phenomenal varietals at Silvan Ridge since his start in 2012.
Viognier is a grape that I’ve loved for a long time. While not as common here in Oregon as other regions, mostly due to our colder climate, it’s presence here is growing. The grapes in the 2011 Viognier come from the Rogue Valley. This area grows some high quality warmer grape varietals. Many wineries buy grapes from this area to supplement their line up of wines with varietals that may not grow so well here. Although I will say there are some colder climate Viognier’s out there that I have enjoyed thoroughly as well. Generally speaking, a wine made with Viognier grapes will be similar in body to a Chardonnay. Many are extremely aromatic and have floral notes throughout.
I poured the Silvan Ridge 2011 Viognier on a beautiful sunny afternoon. While it was chilly outside, the cloudless blue skies and crisp air were the perfect back drop. The nose was very aromatic. Flavors of crisp, ripe pears hit my senses right away. When I took my first sip, it was apparent that this wine was bursting with fruit flavors like melon and peaches. I even got a hint of banana. It had a very tropical feel to it. I would describe the mouthfeel as smooth but light bodied. Exactly what I would want for a white wine, really. The finish had a slight tartness to it, but was creamy and left hints of vanilla on my palette. All in all, I couldn’t help but have another glass when I was finished with the first.
Given that this wine is produced so close to us here in Eugene, it is available at many places for purchase. I picked this up for $17 and plan on picking up some more very soon. This wine is a real steal, and so local! Do yourself a favor and stop by their tasting room as well, off of Briggs Hill road (right near Sweet Cheeks!). They have a nice line up of wines that are all dying to be drank. Cheers!