Bonterra 2001 Mendocino County Viognier ($22.99)
Very pale brass color with a greenish hue. Perfumed, complex scents offer an appetizing mix of apples, butterscotch and a whiff of banana oil that invites a taste; it's intriguing but perhaps not as obviously floral as the conventional wisdom suggests of Viognier. Crisp and tart, almost tangy, flavors mirror the nose and add a distinct element of tangerine peel. Long and clean, snappy finish. Not a "benchmark" Viognier, perhaps, but a very appealing wine from Bonterra, an all-organic producer associated with its Mendocino neighbor, Fetzer. US Importer: (Nov 13, 2002)

FOOD MATCH: Viognier can be a difficult food match, but this went quite well with an off-the-wall vegetarian risotto made with brussels sprouts shredded into a "slaw" with roasted red peppers and toasted pine nuts.



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