It is an early highlight of the year to offer a striking white wine from Sonoma’s Knights Valley – the 2016 Allude Viognier. Ever since our first introductions to the stunning wines from Condrieu, Viognier’s birthplace in the Northern Rhone, we have been fascinated by the grape and always sought out the rare sites that are ideal for the cultivation of this extremely fickle varietal. With the Allude winemaker Camille Benitah has brought a level of refinement and complexity to the wine that is rarely captured while letting the grape’s exotic flavors and rich oily mouthfeel lead the way. Bright yellow gold in color, the Allude’s nose is a stunning array of honeysuckle and jasmine accented by hints of mineral and wet slate. The palate delivers exotic flavors of apricot and melon with a rich oily mouthfeel kissed by refreshing hints of lemon zest and orange peel. This beautiful freshness endures through the long savory finish with spiced flavors of ginger and quince paste. An expressive wine in its youth, the Allude is best served with poached shrimp with a mango salsa or grilled lemongrass chicken.