Yalumba: putting Viognier on the map

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1st September, 2020 by db_staff

Viognier first caught Yalumba’s eye in the early 1970s, when plantings were limited to the tiny appellations of Condrieu and Côte Rôtie, France. Thoroughly captivated, Yalumba set the wheels in motion and in 1980 planted 1.2 hectares.

This land, situated on the elevated slopes of Eden Valley in South Australia, represented the first significant plantings of Viognier in Australia. These Viognier vines are now amongst the oldest in Australia.

“Its friends in the Rhône Valley had been growing well in Eden Valley since the 1840s, so it made sense,” Yalumba’s Head of Winemaking Louise Rose said in a virtual tasting in April.

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

A great Viognier is a truly individual wine that offers its imbiber a wonderful sensory experience. Within a glass of Viognier can be found layers of flavours. The wines are seductive, luscious and opulent, stone fruit, ginger spice, citrus blossoms and long silky textures.

The wines are flavourful, long and refreshing. It’s the combination of these elements that makes Viognier a great wine style to match with a range of foods. When paired with flavoursome and spicy dishes, such as, but not limited to, Moroccan, Indian or Thai, the alluring apricot fruit aromas and characters wrap around the flavours of the food, creating a unique and pleasurable dining experience.

Depending on the winemaking style the grape can often hit its peak at one-two years of age, after which its more intense apricot aromas tend to fade, though some can stay at high levels of quality up to 10 years.

Typically, Condrieu wines are the Viogniers most often meant to be drunk young, while those made in the New World can age for longer.

In a recent virtual tasting with UK wine writers, Rose tasted through Yalumba’s impressive Viognier collection beginning with the Y Series Viognier, which offers incredible everyday value.

Yalumba’s Organic Viognier is crafted from certified organic grapes with minimal intervention, and Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier displays the cool-climate characters distinctive of its namesake region.

The winemaker’s flagship white wine, Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier, has all the hallmarks of world-class Viognier: alluring layers of richness, complexity and flavour.

After more than 40 years of working with this variety, Yalumba has well and truly proved its place as one of the great Viognier winemakers of the world.

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