2009 Michele-Schlumberger Viognier –Wine Bench Limited Release–

Just a quick tasting I’ve been waiting to do.  We joined the Michele-Schlumberger wine club while we were out tasting last weekend and went home with our first “shipment.”   It included a red and a white and this is the white.

2009 Michele-Schlumberger, Wine Bench, Viognier

The Nose: There is really not much here, a light hint of perfumy fruit, but just barely, and I’ve been letting this wine warm up a bit to try and coax something extra from it.
The Taste: There is a tart acidity with a waft of alcohol.   Maybe a hint of apple seed, you know when you accidentally leave an apple seed in an apple and you crunch into it, it’s bitter and astringent.  As the finish lingers there is a pleasant minerality, but it doesn’t show up until you have already set the glass down
The Mouth Feel: This wine is light and is reminiscent of water
The Color: Light straw, pale yellow, beautiful color really (may be this wine’s best quality)
The Nitty Gritty:
Harvested September 28, 2009
pH: 3.54
ABV: 13.5%
Aged in Stainless Steel
280 Cases Produced
The Price: $24 (as part of the wine club shipment)

The Verdict: I am really bummed out with this wine.  It doesn’t do anything for me.  It is used in their Syrah, for blending and perhaps it’s best served there.  I don’t know if I just don’t have a palate that appreciates Viognier or if this wine is just not good.  I would not recommend this Viognier.  I guess I’m extra disappointed since the Reds (and Chardonnay) that I tasted last week at the winery were awesome.

75 points, D+


7 thoughts on “2009 Michele-Schlumberger Viognier –Wine Bench Limited Release–

  1. This is a great example of how pallets are so different. I LOVE this white, one of the few Jim will drink. I though it had a great floral note high with Honeysuckle when we drank it and it’s finish was crisp and clean. I hope that you feel the reds were better, but as for us, we bought three bottles of this and can’t WAIT for some days over 80 degrees to drink it!

    1. I almost wonder if I got a bad bottle then, it didn’t really seem flawed, per se, but it certainly didn’t jive with my taste buds.

      I’m flummoxed. I think I’m going to go and taste some other Viogniers to see if my palate has just changed and dislikes the varietal!?!

  2. I’ve had some great Viognier lately and none of them have been over $20. Great review, pretty low score for a high profile winery. Subjectivity is a wonderful monster, eh?


  3. That’s a bummer of a way to start off your wine club membership – hope it goes up from here!

    I love Viognier from the Rhone, but find that many from CA are too high in alcohol without the right balance of flavors. Curious – what’s the % ABV on this one?

    Mike (@supplewine)

    1. ABV was 13.5% unsure if that’s high for a Viognier. It did come across a little hot, or at least the alcohol was noticeable from the wine as a whole.

      I’ve been thinking… I have some of this wine left and I think I’d like to go back up to the winery and do a comparison. The more I think about it the more I think that perhaps I just got a bad bottle.

      1. I’d say 13.5% is about in the range of most Viognier I’ve had – both CA and France. It’s really more about the balance and if the winemaker manages to keep it from getting flabby with that high alcohol.

        Keep us posted if you do get back there and do a taste comparison!


  4. I’m happy to say I made it back up to Michel-Schlumberger today and was able to taste some more Viogner. I guess it’s safe to say the wine we received was just fine. I guess I just didn’t care fore this wine. I talked with the Director of Wine, very briefly, she tells me that this Viognier is completely dry and done in the French style, not the California style that I guess my palate is used to.

    Anyhow, If you like a very dry, white this may be the wine for you.

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