Value Picks: Rhone Whites Delight

Abacela 2011 Estate Umpqua Valley Viognier 

Sweet fruit bursts forth with lively notes of orange and apple dipped in caramel. A hint of minerality adds to this well-balanced beauty whose rich, round flavors persist from start to finish. $22; 282 cases

Spangler Vineyards 2011 Southern Oregon Viognier 

Forward, fruity aromas lead into a soft yet viscous and full-bodied mouthfeel presenting stone fruit flavors complemented by fresh acidity. $20; 190 cases

Domaine Trouvére 2011 Rogue Valley Viognier 

The first Viognier release from Lange Estate's second label delights with counterpoints of smoke, pepper, citrus and peach. Minerality adds to a flavor marked by both fresh and complex characteristics. $20; 100 cases

Zerba Cellars 2010  Columbia Valley Viognier 

Floral and spice entice the nose, while a touch of sweet tangerine and vanilla bring pleasure to the taste. A hint of bergamot mint makes for an intriguing finish. $20; 120 cases

Hawkins 201l Columbia Valley Viognier

Crisp green apple greets the nose, while stone fruit and a beautiful balance of acid tantalize the palate. Full-bodied with a long-lasting finish, this white will have you wishing for more. $20; 75 cases 

Cliff Creek Cellars 2011 Southern Oregon Marsanne/Roussanne 

A pretty, floral aroma introduces a lively, full-bodied wine with layers of flavor ranging from sweet pear and apricot to rich honeycomb with smoky overtones. A panel flavor favorite. $22; 225 cases

Zerba Cellars 2011 Walla Walla Valley Estate Cockburn Vineyard Roussanne 

Come-hither perfume and good acidity complement a rich, round flavor theme combining nutmeg, caramel, vanillin and oak. $20; 98 cases

Quady North 2011  Rogue Valley Pistoleta White Wine $19; 232 cases

Put the three Rhone varieties — Viongnier, Marsanne and Roussane —together in equal parts and what do you get? Pistoleta; which either means a Provencal troubador or a small gun. Take your choice. This pistol sings with lime, herb, lemongrass and pink grapefruit. A soft, round mouth. Nicely balanced. Lingering finish. A better blend.



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