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le jade viognierFrench Viognier is not exactly on the average wine consumer’s radar. The good ones from the Northern Rhone are very expensive and the less pricey alternatives are often inconsistent. This Viognier hails from Languedoc, a region long dedicated to producing cheap, bulk wine and still trying to find its way in the premium wine sector. So the price is right. Happily, so is the quality in its price range.

This is a representative Viognier—very aromatic with heady floral and peach aromas shading into tropical melon notes. Lush and viscous on the palate with perhaps a little residual sugar, it evolves from fruit to cream, and then to a chalky finish that shows too much bitterness. A little short on acidity so the acid-heads won’t be pleased but if you prefer full-bodied whites that leave a fleshy, sensuous impression this is good quality for the price. There is no evidence of oak.

It overwhelmed the salmon I served it with, but nicely picked up the floral notes of the basil pesto and was a stellar match for the grilled potatoes.

The wine is produced by the Cave Coopérative, the larege Pomérols co-op in operation since 1932.

A tropical vibe with hints of bitterness and redemption, a perfect Bob Marley pairing:

Score: 87

Price: $9

Alc: 13%