Wine of the Week: Goats in Villages Chenin Blanc Viognier


Wine: Goats in Villages Chenin Blanc Viognier

Grape: Chenin blanc (50 percent), viognier (50 percent)

Region: Paarl, Cape Region, South Africa

Vintage: 2012

Price: $7.99

Availability: Available at special wine retailers, including Trader Joe’s

In the glass: Goats in Villages wine is a pale lemon-yellow color with just a hint of a faint greenish tinge, but star bright and a clean clear appearance with a water-clear rim definition.

On the nose: There is an exotic plethora of flowery characteristics punctuated by cling peaches, citrus rind, dried apricots, Key lime pie, pear skins and underlying sunny minerals as well as a hint of fern off the mossy forest floor.

On the palate: This wine is bright and floral with definite bursts of grapefruit, kiwi fruit and green pear; very dry but on the fruity side with solid chalky minerals. Great acidity is the backbone through the midpalate where the wine “turns” for the finish with structured citrus fruit, white currants and star fruit, maintaining a fair balance to the end.

Odds and ends: This is one of those quirky labeled wines from the Goats do Roam company in South Africa. The name of the company is a play on the words “Cotes du Rhone” and their wines are made to closely resemble those from the Rhone Valley in France. Other interesting labels in the lineup include Goat Roti, which is a play on Cote Rotie, in the Northern Rhone and also Goatfather, which speaks for itself. As part of the much larger wine company Fairview, which was founded in 1693 in the Cape Region of South Africa , this range of wines with goat names is widely available in the United States and have enjoyed a great deal of attention during the past decade or more, not just for the name, but also because the wines are incredibly well-priced and great values. Be aware that there are two labels called Goats in Villages and while this one is a delicious and fragrant blend of the now-synonymous-with-South Africa chenin blanc and viognier, there is also a red wine that is a blend between shiraz and pinotage, another South African specialty grape variety, in itself a hybrid of two other French varieties, pinot noir and cinsault.

Now that the weather is firmly in the spring season, this is great to enjoy chilled to 45 degrees Fahrenheit and by the glass or with some strawberry salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Drink it now through 2015.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at gil@winevegas.com.