The Wine:
Pedernales Cellars Viognier Reserve, 2012

The Grape: 
Viognier is an outstanding variety that likes the warm growing conditions Texas provides. 

Who Likes It: 
Guy Stout, who is the master sommelier and certified wine educator with Glazer’s Distributors. He is a longtime Texas wine supporter, and also grows grape at his own vineyard in Blanco County. 

Why He Likes It: 
“When I heard that this wine had recently won a major European award in Lyon France, which is the backyard of great Northern Rhone region where Viognier dominates, I had to try it,” Stout said. “The round rich structure of the wine and the restrained oak use, give this wine balance and texture in the finish. Small quantity produced, but the regular is almost as good.” 

Suggested Pairings: 
“I like serving Viognier with roasted chicken done in a Provence style—lots of herbs in the chicken rub play very well with the savory character of the grape,” Stout said. “I also like a cheese plate with Manchego and roasted almonds.”

On Down the Road: 
Stout points out that the Texas viticulture scene has received many accolades and a fair amount of local press (and even some national and international news), but he also observes that the state is very short on the amount of grapes that are planted. “Until we can get more vines in the ground, we will constantly be behind in production,” he said. “Many of our top wines are in such limited supply. I would encourage people to search out those Rhone and Spanish grape varieties in the Texas market. Look for Tempranillo, Syrah, Marsanne, Roussane, and Albarino.”

Note from the Winemaker, David Kuhlken: 
“This is the second vintage for the Reserve Viognier. As with our inaugural version, this Viognier received hands on treatment throughout and new French Oak for short cellaring. The nose on this vintage is a rich blend of honey, violet, and acacia with additional notes of cinnamon. On the palate you can detect vanilla, toast, and butter and a balanced finish. 

“The grapes for the 2012 Viognier Reserve come from the Bingham and Reddy Vineyards of the Texas High Plains. Both vineyards have been a key part of the Pedernales winemaking program from the beginning and provide some of the best premium grapes from the Texas High Plains. These vineyards are currently our exclusive sources for Viognier. 

“This wine recently won a Grand Gold award from the Lyon International Wine Competition, the only U.S. Winery to receive this honor. We are proud to represent Texas with this historic Grand Gold for the 2012 Texas Viognier Reserve in Lyon, France—right in the heart of traditional Viognier cultivation and winemaking.”

This wine is only available at the winery. Pedernales produced about 340 cases, so there is limited availability.