South by South West, Viognier Chardonnay 2017

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South by South West, Viognier Chardonnay, Margaret River, 2017

“Green apricot, lemon, orange blossom.  Something good and tart like cream cheese frosting.  White pepper, white peach, green mango, kiwi fruit and green apple.  The palate has epic bright acidity from the chardonnay, and richness from the viognier (not that the Margs chard doesn’t contribute its own whack of weight, concentration and drive).  Here, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Thoroughly enjoyable and textural.  I can’t remember the last time I looked at a viog/chard.  Interesting that the less popular (but previously stated “cool”) viognier is listed first on the label before chardonnay: perhaps a pointed effort to set itself apart from the crowd – there is a lot of MR chardonnay on the shelves.  A good move.  Lovely low alc at 12.8%.  YES.” $48, and 94+ points

Relevant winemaking information summed up perfectly on their website:

“The Carbunup Chardonnay was de-stemmed, pressed, inoculated, and went through both a primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentation in charry toasted new French oak. This juice was matured on yeast lees and with regular bâttonage for 6-8 weeks to enhance mouth feel and complexity, then aged for 6 months.

The Wilyabrup Viognier was inoculated with the same Burgundian yeast strain in a stainless steel tank and, once the Chardonnay completed the secondary fermentation, blended together in equal portions into a barrel. With a naturally higher sulphur level present in the Viognier, blending the Chardonnay that underwent Malolactic fermentation was a perfect match.”

 

Viognier – very f*****g cool, but not fashionable

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That seems to be the way with so many wonderful wine varieties and styles, although if there’s ever been a time in pop culture to make the uncool, cool – it is now.  The minimalist 90’s are back in, and there’s not many less cool eras… maybe I say that from an 80’s standpoint.  I acknowledge all 90’s things are having a second time in the sun.  I even enjoy some of them.

2013 Yalumba ‘Virgilius’ Viognier, Eden Valley

I wanted something with body and acid, that wasn’t chardonnay.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s my favourite (?) white grape, but I do drink a lot of it.  I picked up this bottle from a wine store in Cottesloe about 8 weeks ago, and as soon as I thought of it, I dashed to the wine fridge to dig around for it.

This has ripe honeydew melon, rockmelon, pink grapefruit, white pepper, hints of vanilla pod, grilled yellow peach, and tempering spices like sea salt, crushed ginger, white pepper and a hint of curry leaf.  This did see some time in oak (French, 11 months), so there’s a dimension to the palate that just keeps flowering long after it’s been swallowed.   There is definitely a viscosity and thickness to the palate which is giving me my viognier kick, but the acidity pulls everything in to line and lightens it up.  Mouthfeel is plump and silky… I can’t help but roll it around. Wonderful stuff.

+ Winemaker: Louisa Rose

+ Yalumba’s flagship white wine

+ First vintage 1998

+ Stelvin since 2003

+ “Since 2005, Yalumba’s Virgilius Vineyard in Eden Valley has been home to the most clonally diverse planting of Viognier anywhere in Australia – allowing winemaker Louisa Rose the opportunity to create wines of great promise and diversity.”