Let me first say as an Oenophile, wine writer, wine blogger, I was surprised by this wine. I must admit, I've never been a fan of Viognier. But this wine has made a me a believer that a great Viognier can be made. I am so used to the over honeyed Viognier's with a bit too much residual sugar for my palate. This South African wine is what I call "a genie in a bottle." In most cases when I review a wine, I have some idea about how the wine will actually taste. This one was a surprise. It was kind of like the television commercial for pork being said to be "the other white meat." I say this because this wine is a style of Viognier that is truly special. It is like the "other white wine." The wine really reminded me of a Sauvignon Blanc, which was a sheer delight for me. I love Sauvignon Blanc's flavor profile and how well it pairs with food.
This wine is a light straw color, with aromas of melon, a bit of honey, and notes of stone fruit like peaches on the nose. The same aromas from the nose were the same fruit and honey flavors found on the palate.The mouth feel was round , which is in keeping with the style of Viognier. The finish had some faint herbal notes and lemon zest. There is just the right amount of acidity to pair well with food.
I love the fact that it has a screw cap. I poured a bit of the wine to sample it alone. Then I put it back in the fridge. I decided based on the flavor profile of this wine that I could pair it with a small bite, having specific flavors in mind. So, I created a bread cup by taking a slice of white bread, and using a biscuit cutter cut out a circle, about 5 inches. I then rolled the circle out pretty thin, but not so thin that it would crack. I brushed California olive oil on both sides and put the three rounds in a 12 count mini muffin pan. You have to ease the bread in the mini muffin pan gently.
I had pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees and baked them until they were a golden brown, or until they looked like they would be brown enough to be a little crispy. After the bread cups were cool. I added about a teaspoon or so of fresh goat cheese, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, about 1/2 teaspoon of Smucker's brand Apricot preserves on top and finished the three small bites with crumbled bacon. I actually tried one with fig preserves and two with Apricot preserves. The Apricot was the best pairing. I think the stone fruit flavors found in the wine, and the acidity worked so well with the fresh goat cheese. And well bacon makes everything taste good! I did not write this in a recipe format because it is so easy to make. You can also use the ingredients and create a crostini if you don't want to make the bread cups. You can also purchase Athens brand fillo cups, and just bake them off and add the ingredients listed above in the same order.
This wine would also pair well with seafood like crab cakes, shrimp, fish and apricot glazed chicken or pork skewers. I would also pair it with fresh goat cheese or a semi-firm goat cheese called Garrotxa http://www.artisanalcheese.com/Garrotxa/productinfo/10239/.
Note: This wine was a sample provided by Silkbush Mountain Vineyards http://cape-ardor.com. SRP $16.99You can also visit http://silkbush.com