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2013 Tabalí Viognier “Reserva” Limari Valley D.O. Chile (Alc. 13.5%) LCBO VINTAGES $13.95

There was a while, maybe some 15 years ago, when I was somewhat gaga over this grape Viognier. I distinctly remember consuming countless gallons of a simple VDP over the course of one particular Toronto summer and perhaps it was this experience that led to me abstaining from anything made with the grape for the following decade or so. It could also have been the fact that at the height of the Anything But Chardonnay years there was a tonne of simply awful Viognier wine out there. With this in mind it was a really pleasant surprise to find this inexpensive Chilean Viognier in Vintages just the other week.

The Tabalí Reserva is an immensely pleasing wine that delivers a fair bit for its modest price tag. Rather than succumb to the clumsiness that seems inherent in most examples at this level, the Tabali really shines with delightfully bright acidity and lifted, expressive fruit.

The nose gives us bags of ripe Golden Delicious apple, with touches of peach and spice. The palate has a great lively core of orchard fruits, and a pleasingly snappy acid profile. Whilst not being the most complex of wines (and what do you expect for $14?), this bottling does bring the taster/drinker considerable amounts of Viognier-driven pleasure… and that’s always a good thing, non? Oh yes, and thankfully this wine sees nary a hint of oak… always a good thing when it comes to this particular varietal in my mind.

I’d actually eschew a food pairing with this bottling as it drinks so well by itself. Saying that, it’s just the thing for a traditional Thanksgiving turkey. There will certainly be some on my Thanksgiving dinner table this Monday.
4 apples out of 5
(Four apples out of a possible five)

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And after so many years out in the cold, he’s warmed to Viognier again.