Price Range: $23–$28
- Ready to Drink: 2 years after bottle vintage
- Great recent vintages in Santa Barbara white wines: 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012°, 2013 °=all-time great vintage
Region: Santa Barbara, California
If you haven’t yet experienced the pleasures of Viognier, you’re missing out. Most people of a certain elegance and stature serve Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay before a hosted meal, but Viognier is snazzier, eclectic and more (ahem) nouveau riche. The 2009 VOGELZANG Viognier (now called the Reserve Viognier), the first—and sold out—vintage of Viognier for this first class but under-the-radar Santa Barbara winery, is one of the best out there. There’s an almost ascetic purity to the honeyed fruit, and it ascends in effervescence to a nirvana of complexity. Pure heaven. –J.M.
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