Australia > Eden Valley > Yalumba Viognier

Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier

Country: Australia
Region: Eden Valley
Producer: Yalumba
Grape variety: Viognier
Vintage: 2010
Found at: Willow Park Wines and Spirits  (or see Liquor Connect and enter your postal code)
Price: $22.49

About the region
: In the past 25 years, Australia’s wine exports have sky-rocketed, resulting in Australia now being the world’s 4th largest wine exporter (behind France, Italy, and Spain). Good value-for-money, crowd-pleasing styles, and clever marketing have all contributed to its surge in popularity. In recent years, other New World countries (Argentina in particular) have become more serious competitors though, which has been putting pressure on Australia’s competitive position in the market.

The Barossa Zone in South Australia is mostly known for it’s dark, full-bodied, fruit-forward Shiraz (which we’ll come back to in a later post). Toward the eastern end of the zone lie the mountain ranges of the Eden Valley, with vineyards at 400 to 600 metres. Due to the higher altitude, the Eden Valley is considerably cooler than the Barossa Valley, which makes it ideal for white grape varieties, in particular Riesling and Viognier.

About the wine: Yalumba was founded in 1849 by a British brewer, Samuel Smith. While over the past several decades a large number of Australian wineries have been swallowed up by large, international wine companies, Yalumba stayed fiercely independent and is now run by the fifth generation of Smiths. As an independent, debt-free winemaker they are able to experiment, invest, and make wines that appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

The Eden Valley Viognier is sourced from 3 different vineyards and in terms of quality sits in between Yalumba’s Y series and their Virgilius. Compared to the Y series, the Eden Valley Viognier is sourced from better vineyard parcels and fermented in oak barrels (while the Y series only sees stainless steel). In my opinion, it is well worth the few extra dollars. The Virgilius is renowned for being one of the New World’s best examples of Viognier, so this winery has clearly shown they know how to handle this difficult-to-grow grape variety.

We tasted this one tonight and were yet again impressed by its weight and complexity. It’s got ripe fruit (apricot and melon), floral notes, lots of spice (cloves), and some almost bitter notes on the finish. It’s has a buttery texture which explains its weight, but enough acidity to keep it standing. So overall, it’s complex and intense, but still very well balanced. A bit over the $20 mark, but quite extraordinary.

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