2020 Malivoire “Stouck” Viognier, Lincoln Lakeshore VQA, Ontario, Canada (12% Alcohol, 1 g/l Residual Sugar) Winery & Website $24.95 (750ml bottle)
The eight ha Stouck vineyard on the Lincoln Lakeshore has been owned for generations by the family of Malivoire’s assistant winemaker, Dan Stouck, and the the decade of age on these Viognier vines appears to be bearing… errr… fruit. And what gorgeous fruit it turns out to be.
My love for Viognier has gone through some kind of cyclic biorhythms over the decades, and it appears to be on an uptick at the time of me opening this bottle. Having been slightly disappointed with most of the Ontario takes on this often fickle variety, I can happily say that winemaker Shiraz Mottiar and Dan Stouck appear to have mastered this oft-polarizing grape with this 2020 vintage, as this is a damn fine varietal wine.
On the nose one with find ripe stone fruits (apricots/peaches/nectarines) and an intriguing floral element. The palate is positively tropical without ever being over the top (as SO many Viogniers can be). The lower alcohol and residual sugar obviously help here, and remember that this is a cool climate Viognier, which makes a huge impact upon the flavour profile. The benchmark oily texture is present in the mouth, but not to a degree it is in any way unpleasant, as it is tempered by some decent acidity, and dare I say a slightly bitter, astringent (but in no way unpleasant), almost tannic element that brings superb structure to the wine.
It’s a really rather lovely example of Ontario Viognier, and if you have been put off this grape previously I’d suggest you try a bottle or two.
(Four and a half bottles out of a possible five)
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he was most impressed with that!