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1 April 2011

Viognier sceptic Mattinson converted by Y Series

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"I come kicking and screaming to a glass of Viognier. I love the idea of it – spicy and gingery, rich flavoured and (often) made into an unashamedly hedonistic drink – but when I pour myself  a glass the reality usually outranks the promise. The wines aren’t bad, or even disappointing; I just don’t find myself wanting to drink much of them. As a result I almost never buy Viognier from a bottle shop and rarely order a glass of Viognier at a restaurant. It makes me wonder where the Viognier story is going – it’s a variety that’s had a huge amount of press in Australia over the past decade, and a vast improvement in quality to match, but as other white varieties move into fashion – how many genuine lovers of Viognier has all this attention created? Is it loved because it seemed for a tie to be different and new, or is it loved for itself?
When I tasted the 2010 Yalumba Y Series Viognier (A$13) though, all such concerns vanished. This one’s not produced in the hedonistic style; it’s simply made to taste delicious. It tastes of ginger and stone fruits and smells of various flowers. It’s a pretty wine with a punch; it has a fair amount of intensity (flavour-wise) and yet it would be ideal at a picnic. I think that’s another way of saying that it’ll please both wine geeks (like me) and normal, well-balanced people too. Yalumba of course make a number of varietal Viognier wines at more elevated prices – this release under Yalumba’s Y Series label is like Baby Virgilius (if I can coin a phrase): the expertise learned for Yalumba’s icon Viognier has been passed on down the line."

Campbell Mattinson, Gourmet Traveller WINE, Apr/May 2011

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