WBW #55: North vs. South

*Disclaimer: I received the wine from Chile from the PR folks for Wines of Chile.

That’s right folks, it’s time again for the monthly wine blog world phenomenon Wine Blogging Wednesday.  This month, our host is Remy of Wine Case and he tasked us with a battle of the ages: North vs. South.  Remy left us to our own devices in interpreting what this meant….would it be a wine from NY vs. a wine from Va or a wine from Canada vs.  a wine from CA?  Who knows, anything goes!

The folks from Wines of Chile recently sent me some white wines from Chile.  I’d been hearing great things of the Viogniers coming out of Chile, so I thought I’d use one of those in my epic battle.  We all know I love Viognier, so I always have some kicking around my basement, so this WBW proved an easy task for me.  In the end, I decided to pit the 2008 Viu Manent Secreto Viognier vs. the 2007 Twisted Oak Viognier.  I’m going to tell you about each wine and then try to outline how they differed.

2008 Viu Manent Secreto Viognier

This wine hails from the Colchagua Valley, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and appears to retail for somewhere around $10.  On the nose I found peach, honey, spice, apricot, biscuits, and something oddly toasty.  In the mouth I got flavors of peach, pineapple, and tropical notes.  I found the wine to be crisp and light with nice acidity.

2007 Twisted Oak Viognier

The Twisted Oak comes to us from Calaveras County, CA, clocks in at 14.2%, has a real cork closure, and cost me $17.60 in a club shipment.  On the nose I found butterscotch, candied apricots, peach, caramel, yellow apple, and flowers.  The nose struck me as very perfumey, like walking in a flower garden.  In the mouth I got flavors of spice, apricot, peach, and orange notes.  I found the finish to be incredibly long and the wine showed as viscous in the mouth.

So the outcome? Two votes for the Twisted Oak in the battle of North vs. South.  The Twisted Oak showed as fulled bodied and viscous versus the Secreto which seemed lean and crisp.  I found the Secreto to display more tropical aromas and flavors while the Twisted Oak showed stone fruits and apricot, plus the lovely floral aromas.  I know the Twisted Oak saw time in oak, but I’m not sure about the Secreto, though it had some toast notes on the nose.  So perhaps it saw some neutral oak?  The styles of the two wines couldn’t have differed more with the Twisted Oak being creamy and mouth filling while the Secreto came through as acidic and crisp.

I would drink either of these wines again, but the more complex Twisted Oak Viognier interested me more and we drank through that bottle completely first as we both kept going back for more.  An interesting experiment. I wish I had a Virginia Viognier in my basement that I could have thrown into the mix.  I do look forward to trying the rest of the Chilean Viognier I have around, as I did really enjoy the Secreto as well!

Many thanks to Remy for the interesting topic! I look forward to reading everyone’s interpretations of the theme.  As always, a virtual tip of the hat to our founder Lenn.

7 Responses

  1. Some more details on the Secreto: the entire line is 85% of the named varietal blended with 15% of a “secret blend” of undisclosed grapes. Fermentation was in stainless steel, and the wine was aged sur lie for two months (this last probably accounts for the toast notes).

  2. I’m just discovering Viognier, so will be checking out your other reviews for recommendations. Any regions that you favor?

  3. Like this review. Found it via WineforNewbies. I love Viognier a lot too (but not trying to type or spell it). I never did a comparison of areas like this. One thing I noticed in your reviews is that both were a fairly higher ABV for a white. I never bothered to look on mine (though I am tempted to crawl in the closet & dig one out)… is that typical of the varietal?

  4. [...] does a Wannabe Wino want with wines from North and South? Viognier, that’s what. Two rather hot-tempered versions, [...]

  5. I picked the wrong week to be out of town, I would have done WBW with Tempranillo – maybe Oregon vs California. Thanks for the nice review of the Viognier!

  6. Thanks for the info Paul!

    Hey Melissa-I actually favor the ones from CA, leaning more towards the unoaked ones.

    Thanks for stopping by Paula. I’m not sure if that’s typical or not….I just drank one last week that came in at 13.5%, so I guess it varies.

    No problem Jeff!

  7. [...] wine. While I only have the sauvignon blanc, you can see the label of the Secreto Viognier in the WBW55 post by twitter friend @Sonadora. I tried to find information about the Viu Manent winery online, [...]

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