Saturday, January 21, 2012

2009 Yalumba "The Virgilius" Viognier (Eden Valley)

Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris/Grigio, and Viognier are three white wines I rarely seek out. A standard offering from these three varieties doesn’t do much for me. However, I would also say that the best examples of any variety can be both impressive and enjoyable, regardless of your natural preferences and biases. And so it is with this wine. In fact it’s close to being the best Viognier I have had.

It’s a tidy $50 a bottle, but there is plenty of love and care that has gone into it. From Yalumba -

Hand-picked grapes were whole-bunch pressed directly to barrels, and the juice handled with passive oxidation. The wine was fermented in mostly mature French oak barriques by a population of naturally occurring and differing species of yeast indigenous to the environment of the vineyard. In these wild ferments each yeast played a small and subtly different part in the development of the wine, creating layers of richness, complexity, fine textures and flavours. After fermentation the wine was aged on lees with regular batonage for 11 months to further heighten the palate weight and increase the complexity and flavour generosity. At blending only the finest barrels were chosen for the final wine.

The wine lives up to the spiel. It’s got a bit of varietal apricot generosity, but keeps this often blousy aspect with Viognier in check. There’s a beautiful ginger spice that pervades throughout, while in the background notes of melon, musk, florals, and dried herbs add further appeal. Fine acidity and a bit of phenolic grip provide lovely texture. Once again that spice is there on a long, refined finish.

It should age nicely over the next 5 years, but is good to go now with a bit of air. A cut above.


RRP: $50
ABV: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap


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