This is the much talked about, affordable Australian Viognier and reflects the best of Australian pedigrees. Unlike the aged vines of the Northern Rhone those in Australia have only been providing harvests for a little more than twenty years. But that is long enough to create a wine that is beginning to lift its skirt revealing some depth and balance. More oakiness than from French wines but nevertheless carrying the apricot and peachy edge that makes Viognier, Viognier!|
Yalumba is the undisputed home of Australian Viognier; a vineyard built on the pioneering work of Samuel Smith in the 1850s and continued today with the same reported dedication by Robert Smith. In 1980 Yalumba conducted the first commercial planting of the grape promoting the growth to its current 50 hectares, nearly 25% of the total Australian crop. Despite the high level of skill required for harvesting ….. “even when the sugar levels in the berries are high, this is no indication that the flavours are ripe. One day it’s dull and flavourless and the next it’s the explosion of musky, apricot characters that make it such an appealing variety” ….. Yalumba are happily promoting its wider production throughout Australia.
At just under £7 the Oxford Landing Limited Release is a wine anyone starting on the Viognier journey cannot afford to miss. It has been heavily reviewed by wine writers and is readily available ‘down the road’ or over the Internet.
Tasters identify lychees, melon and orange blossom as well as the more traditional aroma of peach and apricots, It is a wine of some substance – chewy, rich, ‘silky and luscious’ – and has balance and a rounded palate. The colour can be described as golden.
At an Enjoying Viognier tasting of the 2000 vintage it was described as an invigorating wine with some bitterness at the edge capable of being consumed on its own or as an accompaniment to fish and spicy meals – try it with Thai fishcakes.
The 2001 release is described as “an enchanting wine with the aromas of tropical fruit …. The palate (has) lime and a touch of spice. An opulent wine in its youth, it will continue to develop over the next 18 months.”
Oxford Landing is available from Majestic Wine Warehouses, Unwins Wine Merchants, or over the Internet from everywine.co.uk. You will probably also find it at many local wine merchants. An individual bottle will cost around £7.00, but if you buy by the case you may manage to get it at less than £6.30 a bottle.
Update September 2002 - Oxford Landing Limited Release Viognier has been superceded by 'Y Series Viognier' - click here for details
For details on where you can buy Oxford Landing Limited Release Viognier, together with tasting notes, please click here
For previous 'Featured Wines', please click here