If I were a stickler for “tipicity” — the cork-dork dictum that a wine must exemplify or typify the grape and/or region — I might have a hard time with the Cline Sonoma Coast Viognier 2010 ($16). It’s not nearly as perfumy or as exotic as most viogniers, especially those from Condrieu. You’ll just have to settle for vibrant, smooth and seriously tasty with this one. The floral aromas are lovely, if not as voluminous as viognier often gives off, and there are vivid stone-fruit flavors through the clean finish. That makes it a nice match for Asian dishes or any main course featuring a fruit salsa.
I loves me some chenin blanc — dry, sweet or just about anywhere in between. And while efforts on these shores and in South Africa to vinify the grape are improving, the nexus for chenin remains the Loire region of France. The Damien Laureau Les Genets Savennieres 2007 ($38) is everything an off-dry chenin blanc should be: lush and energetic, with perfectly ripe fruit, spot-on minerality and a delightful honeyed edge. It lingers on the palate for a full minute — if you can wait that long before taking another sip. Ham, creamy soups, barbecue and other sweet/spicy dishes are the perfect accompaniments.