Silkbush Mountain Vineyards Viognier 2012: Review of a Lovely South African Viognier and A Perfect Pairing with a Rustic Pasta Dish

 Silkbush Viognier is a luxuriously rich white wine which underscores an array of fruit & floral aromas with refreshing acidity.


I must admit that Viognier is one of my favorite dry white wines.

A Viognier is a distinctive wine with fascinating aromas and flavors of ripe peach, apricot, pear with floral aromas of honeysuckle that mesmerize you to the very end. It is a big and rich white wine with a relatively high alcohol content with a creamy mouthfeel. It’s voluptuous body and exotic personality make Viognier a perfect wine for pairing big and flavorful dishes with butter, nutty cheese or fruity and acidic olive oil or just to sip on its own.

Once thought only as a Northern Rhone varietal in France, Viognier is now successfully grown in North and South America, Australia and now South Africa. Each has their own character that reflects the terroir of where they are grown. Since 2004, South Africa has been producing award-winning Viognier from the cooler region in the mountains away from Cape Town in Breedekloof of the Western Cape.

There is something special about Silkbush Viognier 2012 from South Africa!

I was blown away by this bottle of Viognier from South Africa !!! The first thing that I detected was a melody of ripe honeydew melon, a delicate touch of honey with peach and apricot aromas as the flavors swirled around my mouth and nose of this un-oaked dry white wine. Cool temperatures of the hillside slopes produce grapes which are fruity and with lots of natural acidity. Fermentation in stainless steel rather than oak barrels contributes to the clean, pure fruit flavors and and retention of the delightful natural acidity that is a great finish to this lovely wine. Six months of fermentation on the lees helps develop the luxuriously round and creamy mouthfeel on the palate that is so satisfying.

There is a lot of great things going on with this wine. Without oak barrel aging, the layers of all the flavors and aromas are front and center! My mouth is watering for more!

The unique terroir contributes to the characteristics of Silkbush Viognier 2012 from South Africa making it a versatile wine for pairing, especially with dishes of the same richness and complexity of flavors and aromas. It has good structure with a creamy full-bodied mouthfeel characteristic of the Viognier varietal and layers of exotic fruit flavors and floral aromas.

And, Silkbush believes that this Viognier’s beautiful natural acidity will allow it to age nicely for at least five years. Hopefully, it will be available soon in Tennessee so that I can have more now and save some for later!

 How to experience this lovely wine of South Africa:

Silkbush Mountain Vineyard’s Voignier  2012 was provided by Alana Gentry of South Atlantic Wines, agent and importer of fine wines. Silkbush Viognier 2012  ships from California and is available in Arkansas and Florida. Several additional states are pending.

Purchases are available online. Just click here to get the details!

Priced under $20

This is one of my go-to recipes for the fall and winter. It is rich and full of flavor with crispy pancetta and sweet caramelized brussels sprouts and topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.  SilkbushViognier pairs well this delicious comfort dish!

Spaghetti with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta and Hazelnuts


Spaghetti with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta and Hazelnuts
Prep time
Cook time
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Each bite of this rustic pasta dish becomes more and more interesting as the heat from the crushed red pepper,the earthiness of the brussels sprouts and the sweetness from the hazelnuts comes through.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 5 oz. pancetta, cut into ¼-inch dice (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 oz. Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced; some whole leaves are fine (about 3 cups)
  • 1 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup using a rasp grater)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more as needed
  • ¾ lb. dried spaghetti
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped, toasted hazelnuts, preferably peeled
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  5. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook, swirling the pan, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Remove and discard the garlic.
  6. Add the red pepper flakes, Brussels sprouts, and ½ tsp. salt.
  7. Cook, tossing with tongs, until the sprouts are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in half of the Parmigiano and the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
  9. Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
  10. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water & drain the pasta.
  11. Add it to the skillet along with ¼ cup of the reserved water.
  12. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing and adding more water as needed, until the Brussels sprouts are tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the pancetta and season generously with black pepper. Taste and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if you like. Serve topped with the hazelnuts and the remaining Parmigiano.


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