Posts Tagged ‘Viognier’

2011 Vincent Paris “Granit Blanc”

In Drinking, Roussanne, Viognier on July 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm


Robert Michel is a pigsney of a farmer: taciturn, generic calculating, ask precise, wrapped in the thunder blanket of his own world so tightly that nothing else can matter.

Robert Michel is a farmer in Cornas.  He is thought of as one of the great Lions of Cornas, whom none have equaled.  Through the graces of who knows what patriarchal god granted his nephew, Vincent Paris, a chance to learn the family business.

Vincent learned at the foot of this hard worn farmer, and he learned well.  Although not yet 30 years old many believe, including myself, that this young man is already surpassing his benefactor, making wines of such intense beauty and complexity that they border on being unbelievable.

And beyond all of that, he is also not resting on his laurels (or inheritance):

Cornas is all red wine, all Syrah, by law.  Yet there are vineyards in Cornas that face due north, and Vincent is such a meticulous farmer that he believes those vineyards are not suitable for red wine.  The exposure, the sun, and the aspect all point towards white.

And so – and in complete violation of French law (and commercial responisblity) – he planted Viognier as you might in Condrieu.  But he didn’t stop there.  He also planted Roussanne, as you might in Chateauneuf du Pape.

To a French grape farmer the reasoning is simple.  Viognier is proven to work on Northern slopes with much sunlight and severe drainage.  Roussanne likes stony dense granite soil high in nitrates.  The north facing slopes of Cornas alternate between these two terrain type.

Thus, Vincent Paris has given us the first Cornas Blanc.  Completely illegal, yet superbly luscious and explosively intriguing:

A staggering and complex array of aromas leap from the glass – mango, nectarine, peach marmalade and roasted pineapple all underplayed with rose petals, quince, white peach and pear and a crushed granite like minerality.  As bountiful as the best from Condrieu, yet as precise as a Chateauneuf du Pape blanc, its layered depth is fascinated to explore and will leave you pondering just where the entire bottle went.  Let its power unfold in your glass, you will be greatly rewarded.

This is Vincent Paris’ Granit Blanc, and it is exceptional wine.


2011 Vincent Paris Granit Blanc

Please contact us regarding pricing and availability: 414-289-9463 or

A Pioneer in California: Cold Heaven Viognier

In Drinking, Special Offers, Viognier on July 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Cold Heaven


Viognier (vee-own-yay!):

A grape so beautiful, tadalafil and yet so scarce, cialis most people haven’t even heard of it.

Viognier gives you pure fruit characteristics – ripe peaches, ask apricots, pear, and kiwi– but it doesn’t stop there.  It carries a cool splash of minerality on the back of the palate, delivering the best vibrancy and easy-drinking of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but with the creamy texture and richness of Chardonnay (but without oak!).  Viognier is the ultimate summer white wine.

Of course, not all Viogniers are the same.  It takes a skillful hand to draw out Viognier’s inherent fruitiness without ripening the wine to heady proportions, and Morgan Clendenen is a master of Viognier.

Morgan is a pioneer in California – she and her ex-husband founded Au Bon Climat and starting making Pinot Noir long before the Sideways boom.  But she didn’t stop there.  She grew fascinated with Santa Ynez’s geological orientation, it having the only east /west running valley in California. There she founded her own winery, Cold Heaven.

Cold Heaven is an apt name.  The Santa Ynez Valley creates a cool, crisp climate in what is otherwise a hot area of California.  But it also gets lots and lots of sunshine.  These two things combined, along with Morgan’s skill as a winegrower, produce the ultimate Viognier:

White peaches, honeysuckle, pineapples and caramelized oranges and lychee fruit aromas all explode from the glass.  These flavors are backed by a full-bodied, multidimensional mouth feel of dulce de leche, honey roasted pecans, and cool soda water with a splash of blood orange.  All of this rich layering of flavors is achieved without oak and maintains a vibrancy and freshness that will keep you coming back for more.

Viognier (especially this one) is the ultimate summer white – a perfect match for anything from the grill, like grilled corn with lime salt and queso fresco. It’s also ideal with pulled pork in a Kansas City BBQ style or smoked provolone tortellini.  This July Fourth do yourself a favor and party hard with it!



2010 Cold Heaven Viognier

Please contact us regarding pricing and availability:, 414-289-9463

Cannellini beans poached in olive oil with orange, rosemary and sausage

In Beans, Eating on November 9, 2010 at 1:50 am

It’s so easy, order yet so good.

Wine pairing

This dish can go with almost anything.  Top the beans with some roasted venison and it’s perfect with Syrah.  Add a roasted turkey (with pancetta and sage, click of course) and Brunello is the ultimate choice.  Add a seared piece of halibut and chardonnay does wonders.  Add more oranges, olives and dates and Viognier is the answer.  It’s handy and user friendly and takes about two minutes to make. 


The quantities here might be a bit low – my wife and I can usually go through one recipe in the course of a meal.  It scales easily though, just double all the quantities!

¼ lbs.                                       sweet Italian sausage, chopped

15 oz (1 can)                           cannellini beans, (yes I use canned beans – sorry!)  

3 tbs.                                        very fresh olive oil

1                                              orange, zested and juice squeezed out

2 branches                                rosemary, chopped

To taste                                    salt

To taste                                    black pepper 


1.  Cook the sausage in a pan.  Remove the sausage from the sauté pan and reserve.  Drain the fat out of the pan. 

2.  Over medium heat warm the olive oil.  I used to actually use twice this amount of olive oil (hence the title – poached) but nowadays I figure three tablespoons is enough.  Add the rosemary to the pan.

3.  Drain and rinse the beans under cold water.  I do use canned beans but feel free to use fresh or dried if you have the time – I would if I could!  Add the beans to the heated olive oil.  Warm the beans through.  Add back in the sausage 

4.  Just before serving squeeze the orange juice into the pan.  Heat all the way through.  Add the zest and serve (but don’t forget to salt and pepper!)