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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 Ė spicy and gingery, rich flavoured and (often) made into an unashamedly hedonistic drink Ė but when I pour myself  a glass the reality usually outranks the promise. The wines arenít bad, or even disappointing; I just donít 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 Ė itís a variety thatís 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 Ė 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 oneís not produced in the hedonistic style; itís simply made to taste delicious. It tastes of ginger and stone fruits and smells of various flowers. Itís 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 thatís another way of saying that itíll 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 Ė this release under Yalumbaís Y Series label is like Baby Virgilius (if I can coin a phrase): the expertise learned for Yalumbaís icon Viognier has been passed on down the line."

Campbell Mattinson, Gourmet Traveller WINE, Apr/May 2011

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