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Managing editor Kim Marcus joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beats include Austria, Greece, southern France and Portugal.
Kim Marcus

A Fine White Sipper for a Holiday Party

Yalumba South Australia Viognier The Y Series 2008

Kim Marcus
Posted: November 19, 2009

Viognier sings a siren song for vintners across the world who are looking for something different in a white wine. They are lured by the ethereal flavor profiles and rich textures offered by the best Viogniers, which come from the small Condrieu appellation of France’s Rhône Valley. Few Condrieu competitors, however, succeed in delivering the goods, and the wines of Condrieu can be quite expensive, making this white a rare bird. Indeed, as part of my tasting beats, I have tried plenty of value-priced Viogniers from the Languedoc region of southern France, but many lack the acidity to back up their soft fruit and floral flavors.

Recently, I tasted a fine effort from Australia: Yalumba’s South Australia Viognier The Y Series 2008. According to the winery’s technical sheets, the grapes were fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts and then left on the lees (dead yeast cells), for a few months to provide extra richness and nuance. Yalumba has been making Viognier for more than 20 years, and its experience shows in this wine. It had a somewhat muted white fruit aroma with flavors of peach, as well as notes of apricot and Meyer lemon. Firm and clean tasting, it had a refreshing minerality. I rated it 88 points, non-blind, and at the $14 a bottle I paid for it or less, it would make a fine sipper for a holiday party.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Yalumba South Australia Viognier The Y Series 2008 (88, $10).

• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values and Easy Finds among Australian whites.

Richard Zaremba
Philadelphia —  November 19, 2009 12:51pm ET
Hello Kim,

How do you compare the Viogniers from Rhone to the other new world Viogniers from California (like a Darioush) or even Oregon (a Penner-Ash).
Do you have a preference from the Old World for a good tasting comparison

I am always on the lookout for excellent an Viognier.

Rich

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