Winery/Vineyard: Doffo Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Viognier
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
93/100 from Wine Enthusiast.
88/100 on CellarTracker.
Silver at 2020 Sunset International Wine Competition.
88/100 from Vino Temecula (2018 vintage).
3.8 of 5 stars on Vivino (all vintages).
How They Describe It
Full bodied with medium acidity but well balanced, fresh and smooth with a long finish. The aromas are very tropical like tangerine, peach, pineapple, mango, and apricot; Roses, honeysuckle, orange blossom, green apple, and other citric fruits. Pairs well with Striped Sea Bass
How I Describe It
The Doffo 2019 Viognier appears pale lemon yellow. The light color intensity isn’t surprising, considering this wine was fermented in concrete. Many of the more golden-colored wines are aged at least briefly in oak.
A blast of apricot, peach, and pineapple juice cocktail springs from the glass of Doffo 2019 Viognier. Distinct aromas of calcareous minerality (did we mention the wine is concrete fermented?), lemon juice and Asian pear join undertones of elderflower and wildflowers.
Big flavors of peach, pear, tart pineapple, lime pith and tangerine are prominent, along with a touch of grapefruit. Just underneath lingers gravel, honeysuckle, and lychee.
Doffo’s 2019 Viognier is dry, and at 14.8% ABV the alcohol content is high. Medium-plus acid balances things out, though the wine retains a powerful full body. Flavor intensity is pronounced, and the finish is long.
Why is This Wine Special?
On the Temecula Wine Ratings FAQ page, I wrote that the only person writing widely-published reviews of Temecula wines is Matt Kettmann of Wine Enthusiast. As of this writing, that’s still the case. Consequently, when we review a wine which Kettmann also covers, it’s fun to compare notes.
First, it’s worth noting Matt Kettmann and I have disagreed in the past. Evaluating wines comes with a high degree a subjectivity, and scoring wines is even more subjective. It’s nearly impossible to completely remove personal preference from the process. With that said, when it comes to the Doffo 2019 Viognier, our reviews were very similar:
“This concrete-fermented Viognier is easily one of the best white wines to emerge from this region in recent years. Clean and crisp aromas of Asian pear flesh, lime zest, honeysuckle and chalk lead into a tight palate of wet gravel, ash, apple blossom and more pear flesh. The texture lingers long into the finish. —MATT KETTMANN”
We also gave it the same score.
The fact is the Doffo 2019 Viognier is an outstanding wine — though that should be expected from Doffo at this point. It embodies some of the best of the Temecula Valley AVA, both for grape quality and quality winemaking. Bravo, Doffo!
When & How I Would Drink It
Concrete fermented Viogniers bear some similarity to unoaked Chardonnays. Both are very aromatic, feature citrus and tropical fruit, and have plenty of acid. With Viognier, however, the acid is slightly less powerful, and the fruit characteristics also include a heaping helping of stone fruit (e.g., peach, apricot). As a result, many of the foods you would normally pair with Chardonnay also go well with Viognier.
For instance, seafood would be the essential go-to to serve with the Doffo 2019 Viognier. The winery’s suggestion, striped sea bass, hints that “meatier” fish fare best. In that vein, I also recommend seared tuna or salmon, especially topped with dill cream sauce.
But let’s not stop at fish. When it comes to seafood, the 2019 Viognier would be amazing with members of the mollusk and crustacean families. Raw oysters, seared scallops, or stewed muscles will always be smart choices. And if you can get your hands on some lobster claws or crab legs dipped in butter, the Viognier would be a terrific complement.
On the other hand, there are plenty of land-based dishes which would also go well with this wine. Easy pairings would be baked chicken or turkey. However, you could get creative and pair with a variety of Asian foods, like pho, orange chicken, or pad thai.
Regardless of your pairing selection, the Doffo 2019 Viognier is best served chilled. No need to let the wine breathe much either, as tannins are essentially non-existent. On a related note, there’s also no need to age this wine, so feel free to pop this cork as soon as you get it!
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $40.00
Cases Produced: 200 cases
Have you tried the Doffo 2019 Viognier? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.