By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Bedell-10-viognierI have fond memories of Bedell Cellars' viognier. Back when my wife and I were dating and exploring North Fork wine country nearly every weekend, it was a favorite in all of its melon and honeysuckle glory. 

Then it was gone, removed from the portfolio… because the winery introduced and began to focus on white wine blends like Taste White and Gallery. That's where all of the viognier went. 

It remains an important component in those blends, but starting with this wine it's back as a varietal wine — permanently. According to winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich "We all just felt it’s such a distinctive varietal on the North Fork that it deserves its own label."

Bedell Cellars 2010 Viognier ($35) shows ripe but restrained aromas of honeydew melon, honeysuckle, peach and apricots — without a sliver of oak to be found. This is my kind of viognier.

The medium-weight, nearly bone dry (.3% RS) palate begins with sweet melon and stone fruit flavors before distinct but understated floral and plum flesh (not the skin) notes join the well-balanced fray.

Fresh and focused, the acidity really stretches the finish out, carrying the peach and melon flavors with it.

It's hard to consider this wine in context because there isn't much of a viognier benchmark here. This one makes a strong case, however. Sadly, they it's sold out already, but Olsen-Harbich is already looking forward to releasing the 2011 in the spring.

Producer: Bedell Cellars
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13%  
TA: 9 g/L
pH: 3.2
Production: 200 cases
Price: $35* (sold out)


 (3.5 out of 5 | Very Good, Recommended to Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)

(*Ratings Guide)