2018 Yalumba “Y Series” Viognier, South Australia (Alcohol 13.5%, Residual Sugar 5 g/l) LCBO $14.95 (750ml bottle)
Over the years I have fallen in and out of love with the Viognier varietal.
At first I loved its wild exoticism and unique aromatics, and I guess it was a bit of a novelty back then, but over time I began to tire of the many, many clumsy examples out there. In recent years I’ve actually gone out of my way to avoid the stuff, having been woefully disappointed upon so many an occasion, and that includes a large number of stupidly overpriced Condrieu from the northern Rhône.
To be fair, it wasn’t so much the varietal that was at fault, but more what the Vignerons had chosen to do with it, the very worst offenders being some clunky oaked-up brutes from California, simply terrible examples of what some producers will do in order to make a more expensive and heavier white wine to sell alongside their big reds.
This completely solid varietal Viognier offering from Yalumba’s very affordable Y Series sees no oak whatsoever, and the wine is all the better for it. Fermented on native yeasts in stainless steel tanks, the wine sees three months of lees contact that only adds to the overall mouthfeel.
The bouquet is full of ripe stone fruit, magnolia on a humid day, saffron, stem ginger, and white pepper. The lusciously creamy plate is medium-full bodied, and it is here that you’ll really pick up on the ripe Viognier fruit. There’s a touch of purposely reductive winemaking at hand here, but that’s no bad thing as all that ripe fruit is given more than adequate space to express itself. Whilst not complex, this $14.95 Viognier is a nice introduction to Viognier, albeit a very Australian take on the grape.
When it comes to food pairing, there’s not a great deal of acidity going on here, so it’s not quite as versatile as one would like, but that means that it makes for a delightful quaffing wine… oh, and it will probably work very well with any turkey you plan to cook over the next week or so.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that’s a solid Viognier.