I last tried the “Sensazioni” with some lasagna that a friend had baked. The wine cut perfectly through the buttery richness of the bechamel, but had enough flavor to stand up to the woodsy character of the dish’s mushrooms. Next time, I might drink this alongside some pasta dressed only with butter and thyme, just to enjoy the wine’s dry-fruit aspect a little more. The Luca Ferraris “Sensazioni” also drinks perfectly well on its own. In a word, sensational!
: I must admit, I’m not usually a big fan of Viognier. Though I love Condrieu — Viognier in its ultimate expression — I usually don’t care much for it otherwise, either on its own or in a blend. Viogniers are often too oily, peachy, and round for me, and so I tend to stay away from them. But I do make exceptions when warranted, and the Luca Ferraris “Sensazioni” Bianco is definitely one of those exceptions. One hundred percent Viognier, this wine comes from Piedmont’s Monferrato region, a place where white wines are more often made with Cortese, Chardonnay or Favorita. Luca Ferraris is the only grower in Piedmont actually producing Viognier; while others have recent plantings, so far they’ve produced no fruit. So this wine is definitely an exception to the region’s norm.
Why does the winemaker call this “Sensazioni?” Luca Ferraris will say it’s because the wine has scents ranging from pears to bananas to exotic fruit, notes that no other Viognier from anywhere else possesses — so his wine delivers pleasant “sensations” when sipped. We stock the 2012 vintage, and while I’ve enjoyed this wine for years, this most recent vintage really stands out for its exceptional balance of subtle peach and tropical flavors with alluring, stony minerality. And there’s not a hint of oiliness.