It doesn’t get much more aromatic than Viognier, a white grape known for its intensely fruity, floral, exotic notes. The nose may smell sweet, but the palate is typically dry and full-bodied, and its lower acidity gives the impression of softness. While Viognier is grown in much of southern France, its most famous iterations come from the northern Rhône, where it ripens on steep slopes.
Viognier is usually bottled as a varietal wine, but it is also used in white Rhône blends or reds like Côte-Rôtie, adding fragrance and body. Most producers choose not to age the grape in new oak, placing greater emphasis on clean, fresh flavors and youthfulness, but some of the most long-lived (and expensive) versions, like Condrieu, are oak-aged.
Learn all about the Viognier grape and its Old World home with our illustrated guide!