Goose Watch Viognier 2015:  $18 Fair

As far as I know, Goose Watch is the sole grower of Viognier in the Finger Lakes.  It is a difficult grape to farm.  Viognier buds early and requires a long growing season.  Full ripeness is important, but overripe grapes yield flabby wines that lack the all-important perfume, making this a tricky vine to cultivate.  In the Finger Lakes Viognier can be devastated by the region’s cold winters.  In 2014 the vines (right by the tasting room) were entirely bereft of fruit after the harsh winter.

The Goose Watch Winery Viognier (Finger Lakes, NY) $18 [Fair] has the grape’s silken texture and some of its perfume, but the appeal of this wine is greatly undermined by too much sweetness, and pronounced bitter notes in the flavors and finish.

The GW is medium lemon in color.  Sinuous medium intense aromas of peach, citrus, nut oils, chalky mineral and earthy notes do say “Viognier.”  Medium bodied, medium sweet, with a silken mouth feel, balance is good.  Easy going flavors of canned peaches, nut oils and a chalky/earthy note are simple and are undermined by bitter and earthy flavors.  The finish is the wine’s undoing — earthy, bitter, and salty — providing some length but no pleasure.  February 2017


© Douglas Hillstrom 2014