House: Domaine Guy Mousset
Name: Tendance Viognier
Origin: Rhone, France
Price: 91 DKK/12,20 EUR/15 USD on winefamly.dk (market price: 150 DKK/20,10 EUR/24,80 USD)
Rhone as a wine region
In the fourth century BC, during the Greek colonization, grapes were grown in Marseille. In the northern part of the Rhone Valley, wine-growing developed in the first century AD… and Rhone wines soon rivaled the products of Italian vineyards. In the 14th century, the papacy moved from Rome to Avignon and the popes, great lovers of the local wines, planted extensive vineyards around the city. John XXII, the second of the seven Avignon popes, had a summer residence built at Châteauneuf du Pape (we will get to this micro-region later).
The vineyards are located on both sides of the river between Vienne and Avignon, just south of Lyon. The Northern and Southern Rhône are unique, each with vastly different geography, climate, soils and grape varieties, but share one thing in common – the Rhône River.
The Northern Rhône is a mere 40 miles long and is responsible for a tiny 4-5% of all the wines from the region. The climate is ‘Continental’–hot summers, cold winters and precipitation throughout the year.
Probably the most striking feature is the steepness of the hillsides. The vineyards are terraced to keep the soil from eroding, retain the warmth of the sun and make life a little easier for the vineyard workers!
This is the birthplace of Syrah and where many wine lovers find it reaches its height of expression – full bodied, savory, and elegant.
As the Rhône River progresses southward, the valley widens and the climate changes. The region is distinctly more ‘Provençal’ with a Mediterranean influence in culture and climate. The summers are long and warm and the winters are mild; rainfall is less than in the north and the famous Mistral Wind is a major player. Another unique characteristic of these wines are the nuances of Garrigue – the wild resinous herbs that cover the landscape.
If Syrah is the big boy of the North, Grenache is the King in the South and forms the foundation of the area’s popular blends. You’ll also encounter Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise, Carignan, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and a host of minor players.
Domaine Guy Mousset, Tendance Viognier, IGP Principauté d’Orange 2016
First thing we notice is the rich yellow color wine which is typical for wines that have high content of Viognier. In the nose, this wine is very aromatic with a mix of flowers and tropical notes such as mango or pineapple. In the taste this wine has a little bit higher level of acidity well complemented with higher sugar. Tasting notes are orange, lemon zest and pineapple. Wine has medium and smooth finish
It is very unconventional for a winemaker from Rhone to do a single-grape wine and write the name of the grape on the label. In my opinion, Viognier is of the hidden gems of wine industry and it is great for fans of rich, aromatic white wines. Great with seafood.