Benjamin Darnault, Languedoc-Roussillon,, Viognier, Wine

Viogn-Yay! Review: Benjamin Darnault Viognier 2015

I’m not normally a big Viognier fan. There are just too many low quality offerings out there that are off balance, and often the characteristic floral notes come off as just sweet. When I do buy Viognier, it’s usually for white sangria. So when this bottle arrived in a sample pack for review, I was a little apprehensive.

Benjamin Darnault produces wine for His flagship wine, Minervois, a Grenache-based blend from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, is an Angel favorite. He also produces some stunning Rhône wines. I’ve had several of these reds, and have always been impressed, so this gave me hope that his 100% Viognier would be a winner, too. Here’s what I thought when I gave it a try:


Many of the reviews here [on the website] have said this is a great wine for a hot day. Well, it’s 106F today in my neck of NorCal, so this seems to be the day to give this a go!

Clear, straw color in the glass. The aromas…oh, my…the aromas! I could smell the floral and citrus aromas from, literally, 3 feet away as I poured! Honeysuckle, elderflower, white grapefruit, and mild apricot explode on the nose. On the palate, the floral notes mingle with apricot, mango, grapefruit, and lemon. Bright acidity gives it zip, while a creaminess at the back of the tongue softens it and provides a medium-full mouthfeel. The finish goes on and on with yellow citrus flavors.

Viognier is probably the only varietal my wife enjoys more than me, and I love this one! Crisp, refreshing, and delicious, this is a great hot-weather quencher, that also goes well with a variety of foods. Yum.

4.5 out of 5 Hearts (92-94 points)

Angel Price: $10.49

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Review: Hob Nob Wicked Red Blend 2012


Just in time for Halloween comes the limited edition Hob Nob Wicked Red Blend. Sporting a Calavera, or “Sugar Skull”; the traditional Mexican Dia De Los Muetros symbol; on the label, this wine actually hails from France. The Languedoc-Roussillon region, to be precise.

As stated on the label, this is a Limited Edition wine, released each year around Halloween. It is a great wine to bring to an All Hallows Eve party; full of surprises and devilishly good. The Languedoc-Roussillon region is known for excellent wines at outstanding values. Hob Nob Wicked Red Blend is no exception. A traditional blend of Grenache and Syrah, with some Cabernet Sauvignon as well, the folks at Hob Nob threw a surprise into this blend: Pinot Noir. The Pinot adds zing; a brisk acidity and layers of complexity to make this wine the life of the party! With plenty of backbone and structure, plus lively acidity, it pairs with a variety of foods; even a juicy grilled rib eye steak!

From the back label: “Celebrate Halloween with Hob Nob Wicked Red Limited Edition, a fruit forward, opulent red blend with hints of oak, hazelnut, mocha, and an eerily smooth finish. Are you ready to get Wicked?”


Here’s what I thought of the 2012 Hob Nob Wicked Red Blend, as posted on Vivino:

“Fun label, good wine. Deep burgundy color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry bramble and dark berry, with some earthy notes. On the tongue the first thing I notice is the smooth body and bright acidity. Flavors of blackberry and fresh raspberry with cherry and cedar. The acidity creates a fresh, long finish.”

I got mine at Total Wine & More for $8.99. Tasty wine at a scary-good value! Get some, before it vanishes!