Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Domaine Berrien Cellars 2005 Viognier, Estate (Lake Michigan Shore)

Domaine Berrien Cellars

2005 Viognier, Estate
(Lake Michigan Shore)

To our knowledge, the northern Rhone Valley of France doesn't have 80-acre fruit farms where tart cherry orchards can be retrofitted to vineyards. That's not the case in the Lake Michigan Shore AVA at Domaine Berrien Cellars.

After recognizing that Marsanne, planted in 1992, did very well on his site, the late Tom Fricke planted Viognier in 1995 in a block he called Martha's Vineyard. Today, his insight and intuition has paid off for his daughter Katie and her husband Wally Maurer (he's the winemaker).

Prepare grilled sea bass, tilapia, orange roughy or grouper with a butter-lemon- caper sauce and pop open a bottle of 2005 Domaine Berrien Cellars Viognier and be delighted first with aromas of peach, apricot, melon, kiwi and a note of grapefruit zest. The bright melony fruit flavors with a touch of kiwi lead to a crisp, bright and tangy finish.

This is not a hugely fruity California-style Viognier nor does it bear the viscosity of a Condrieu from the Northern Rhone. Rather, its regionality shines through in its restraint and delicacy. Viognier, planted extensively around the planet since the early 1990s, is very much at home on Lake Michigan Shore.

Reviewed February 28, 2007 by Eleanor & Ray Heald.

The Wine

Winery: Domaine Berrien Cellars
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Viognier
Appellation: Lake Michigan Shore
Grape: Viognier
Price: 750ml $16.50

Review Date: 2/28/2007

The Reviewer

Eleanor & Ray Heald

The Healds have been writing about wine since 1978 and have focused on appellation significance in many of their world beat writings. They value recognizing site personality (terroir) within an appellation's wines. They praise balance and elegance in wines styled to pair well with food and eschew over-extraction, high alcohol and heavy-handed oak. “Delicious” is their favorite descriptor for a great, well-made wine.