I'm not sure I've ever drunk a Viognier, so I was eager to see what one was like after all the Sauvignon Blancs I've made my way through this summer.
This one is a 2007 Casa Silva Reserva from Chile's Colchagua Valley. Here's a good description of the location from Wink Lorch's wine-pages.com: "Colchagua Valley is a zone within a sub-region (Rapel Valley), which in turn lies within a region (Central Valley). Within Colchagua itself are six areas including a couple that might be familiar: Chimbarongo (on many Cono Sur labels) and Santa Cruz (on the Montes Alpha range)." My description would be that it's almost exactly in the middle of the country, not counting the little hook (or pretty big hook) down at the bottom of Chile.
According to the label, the Silva family were some of the first settlers to grow grapes in the valley, and now 4th and 5th generations run the estate. Their wines have won a lot of prizes--but, frankly, it seems like everyone's wines win a lot of prizes. I think judges take turns handing them out so everyone has some. Sort of like hospitals.
They describe this wine as "complex, elegant and unique", which sums up this bottle pretty well. It certainly doesn't have the grassiness of so many SBs. I haven't drunk a pinot gris in a while so I can't compare it to those, but this seemed like a pleasant middle-of-the-road white, not too acidic, not too sweet, not overloaded with different notes.
This bottle ran me around $10 and would work great for almost any dinner party, from casual to formal, or just a casual get together.