Winery: Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Viognier
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Nick Palumbo
How They Describe It
We made this wine in celebration of our son Ryan and his bride to be Kori. We are proud of their love and commitment to each other as well as the hard work, dedication and patience they have shown in their journey of a life spent together. Both our families coming together look forward to watching their family prosper and grow. With this wine, we toast to their love and happiness.
How I Describe It
The Palumbo 2019 White Wedding Viognier is much lighter in color than you’d expect for a Viognier. A pale lemon yellow, the hue and intensity more closely resemble a Pinot Grigio. Don’t be fooled, though, there’s much more to this wine that meets the eye.
The wine’s 14.8% ABV is detectable on the nose. But for Viognier, that’s not a bad thing — and it’s not terribly overpowering in this case. Alcohol enhances aromas and flavors, and for the Palumbo 2019 White Wedding Viognier, it does just that.
Apricot and nectarine spring from the wine. Tart green apple melds with honeysuckle and rose. And a hint of pineapple and mango accentuate more prominent tangerine aromas.
As with the nose, alcohol from the Palumbo 2019 White Wedding Viognier adds some heat and viscosity, but chiefly amplifies the wine’s fruit flavors. On the tongue, tangerine and nectarine lead, with apricot and lemon on the mid-palate. Floral aromas manifest with honeysuckle, pear, and slight grapefruit bitterness. There’s a touch of minerality, pointing toward the local terroir on the Palumbo family’s estate vineyard.
This is a dry wine. Alcohol is high at 14.8%, and while within acceptable range for Viogniers, it’s at the upper end of the spectrum. Juicy medium-plus acid keeps the wine crisp, despite the medium-plus body (though it could be considered full bodied by white wine standards). Flavor intensity and finish are both medium-plus.
Why is This Wine Special?
Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery is the epitome of a family-run operation. In addition to husband and wife team Nick and Cindy Palumbo, their children have taken on increasingly more prominent roles. Visiting the property, you’re almost guaranteed to run into at least one member of the family.
It’s no surprise, then, that wine would play a central role in family milestones — which leads to the wine’s name. “White Wedding” is named for the nuptials of one of the Palumbo children (i.e., not for the Billy Idol song).
On a side note, I’m glad the Palumbo Family didn’t also create a Red Wedding bottle for the celebration. Anyone who watched Game of Thrones might have gotten the wrong idea.
Bad jokes aside, vineyards in the Temecula Valley AVA grow Rhône varietals extremely well. There’s no shortage of TWR reviews on red wine grapes originally from the Rhône, but as the weather warms up, the Rhône region’s principle aromatic white wine deserves recognition.
Despite thriving in warm, sunny climates, Viognier can be a finicky grape. It is notoriously slow to develop acid (which gives wines tartness, crispness, and freshness). Too little acid and the wine tastes deflated and stale. It’s not surprising, then, that winemakers will leave Viognier grapes on the vine for as long as possible. That means, in addition to acid development, by harvest the grapes are chock full of sugars — which explains the high alcohol content.
Nick Palumbo explained he made the 2019 White Wedding in a style similar to what you’d fine in the French appellation, Condrieu. Because maintaining that equilibrium of floral notes and full body is no easy task, creating a quality Viognier is much like tightrope walking. Thankfully, the Palumbo 2019 White Wedding Viognier has the right kind of balance.
In full disclosure, Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery donated the bottle described here. Other than providing the wine itself, there was no exchange of anything which would have influenced or unfairly biased this review.
When & How I Would Drink It
The Palumbo 2019 White Wedding Viognier is a great party wine — not surprising, considering it was created for a celebration. Though, keep the alcohol content in mind and drink responsibly.
For pairing, one of the nice things about the 2019 White Wedding Viognier is the aromatic bouquet and alcohol content work well with a variety of foods. This is the wine you’d want to pair with nicely spiced or dry-rubbed poultry and leaner meats. Roast chicken and chicken tikka masala would both play well, as well as many pork, fish, and shellfish-based dishes. Stir fry, anyone? For vegetarian readers, substituting chicken with roasted cauliflower or tofu — especially in Indian cuisine — would still complement the wine extremely well.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $34
Cases Produced: 50 cases
Have you tried the Palumbo 2019 White Wedding Viognier? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.