In honor of the 4th of July, I wanted to write about an eye opener from my home state.
The wine is a Viognier and Roussanne blend from Kinkead Ridge. These are two varietals that are not extremely different compared to others I have written about. What makes this wine off the beaten path is the fact that it is made in Ohio. The winery has the ability to grow these varietals thanks to it's location on the Ohio River. While Ohio is seeing a ton of growth in the wine making industry, it is still trying to find it's nice. I am pleased to say that I believe Kinkead Ridge has found theirs'.
Viognier has long been one of my favorite white wines. It was really what first took me off the beaten vine so to speak. I found it a wonderful alternative to Chardonnay and used it as a vehicle to take my dinner guests away from their comfort zone. Viognier displays more aromatics on the nose and usually shows a touch more fruit. The bad thing about Viognier was that it is tough to grow which of course made it hard to find. Fast forward 10 years to now and Viognier is being produced in many different spots around the world rather than just in its' native France.
Roussanne on the other hand is still not extremely popular outside of France's Rhone region (Fun Fact: Marsanne and Roussanne are the only two white varietals grown in Rhone). The biggest characteristic it is known for is its' high acidity. Because of this, it is almost always used in a blend rather than being a single varietal. It can also display nutty flavors and be a tad bitter.
So why does a Viognier/Roussanne blend work? The old saying opposite attracts applies here. Viognier is highly aromatic with low acid, a touch of sugar and good fruit. Roussanne is highly acidic and tart. They balance each other extremely well and make a wine with brilliant complexity. Kinkead Ridge has taken advantage of this. They have produced the best Ohio wine I have tasted to date.
Kinkead Ridge Viognier Roussanne in a Nutshell:
Description: Extremely aromatic nose with great floral notes. Typical flavors on Viognier on display such as apricot and orange blossom. Sharp acidity on the finish making it dry on the palate.
Pairing: A great wine to enjoy with a homemade chicken salad. Would also be the perfect compliment to a family clam bake or shrimp boil.
Vintage/Price: Current vintage is 2011. I had a bottle of 2008 and 2010 that I opened recently. The price should be around the $16 dollar range.
For more information on Kinkead Ridge and their wines, please go to: Kinkead Ridge