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Leading Australian wine review and information site, The Wine Front, independently shares some wise words on wine by leading scribes Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh. This week The Wine Front features a trio of Viognier wines by Yalumba, Australia's most influential producers of this exotic French variety.
Yalumba The Virgilius Eden Valley Viognier 2008
93 points - "Right then. We are now at the business end of the Viognier plane, perhaps even First Class - well at least Qantas first class anyway. Bearing in mind that I rarely like any Viognier, in anything, at any time, I'm very impressed by this. I'd not buy it mind you, but that's not the point. My tip for the day is never serve good Viognier cold, and while hell rarely freezes over, this should not be served with anything more than a light chill.
White flowers, spice, apricot kernel and little funkiness adding interest - expressive but not over-bearing. There's a good balance struck between varietal richness and restraint here - the oily beast whipped back into a cage gilt with honey, exotic spice, fine acidity and an almost grapefruity freshness. The length is excellent with the lightest of phenolic grip giving a little tweak on exit. Very impressive."
Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2008
86 points - "A little woolly sulphur with peach, pear, spice and lychee - white flowers too. A little more restrained in style than your usual Australian Viogner with its mid-weight palate, and while the flavour is good, it has a somewhat unyielding nature and a hardness that fails to win me over. The finish puts me in mind of slapping aftershave onto a well scrubbed face. It's OK and perfectly drinkable, but not much fun.The words may seem harsher than the score would indicate, but that's an attempt to strike a balance between the subjective and the objective."
Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2008
90 points - "There's a waft of sulphur but no problem and then the usual array of Viognier smells - honeysuckle, stonefruit, lychee, and at the price point there's no questioning the varietal integrity of this particular wine! It's warm and slippery but balanced and clean with abundant flavour and a little candied ginger spice thrown in for good measure. Sweetish and a little phenolic on the finish but grand value, all things considered."
Gary Walsh, www.winefront.com.au, 26 June 2009