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An entirely different kind of ‘Rhône Ranger’

AFFWFounded in 1849, Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family owned winery whose success story is the envy of winemakers all over the world. Also part of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) Yalumba is 1 of 12 prominent family owned Australian wineries who believe in respecting their land and to promote their wines to consumers to showcase the quality wines that they produce in order to re-establish the Australian brand to the manner it deserves.  Yalumba recently put on an exclusive tasting evening for Majestic staff to showcase their range of wines made from the Viognier grape variety – for us wine is not just something we do at work and we often find ourselves taking our “work” home with us! Neil Owens, Assistant Manager of Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon tells us about the delectable treats Yalumba presented…

Capable of exquisite, delicately perfumed white wines which display a plethora of stone fruit, spice and floral aromas, Viognier is grown in only a few locations around the world outside its native home of Condrieu in the Northern Rhône.  Most New World winemakers who have chosen to plant Rhône varieties (often nicknamed ‘Rhône Rangers’) have ignored Viognier, in favour of heart-warming blended reds from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.  Not so at YalumbaFounded in 1849 and since planting its first Viognier vines in 1980, Yalumba has become renowned for pioneering the variety in the New World.  As Chief winemaker at Yalumba, Louisa Rose’s expertise is incomparable; naturally we were delighted to accept her invitation to an exclusive tasting.

Yalumba ‘Y’ Series Viognier, 2009

A staple in the Majestic range, the ‘Y’ Series continues set the standard for sub-£10 Viogniers.  Fermented completely in stainless steel to preserve the grape’s characteristic stone fruit aromas, both the nose and palate display a delightful combination of peach and cooked apricot with just a hint of white flowers.  One of few wines that can cope with a King Prawn and Coconut curry.

Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier

Sadly not available in our stores, this wine is made entirely from fruit sourced from the Eden Valley, a sub-region within the famous Barossa Valley.  Displaying greater elegance and perfume than it’s ‘Y’ Series Sibling, it undergoes partial oak fermentation resulting in a more luxurious mouth-feel and finish.

Yalumba ‘The Virgilius’ Viognier, 2008

Yalumba’s pre-eminent Viognier is produced using the highest quality grapes from the Eden Valley and is fermented exclusively in 5 year old French oak barrels which accentuate the cinnamon spice notes that Louisa describes as the wine’s signature. The nose is a delicate and ethereal blend of white peach, dried apricots and orange blossom before ginger and the characteristic cinnamon spice take centre stage on the palate.  A long, lingering almost creamy finish leaves no doubt that The Virgilius has established itself as a wine that can be compared favourably with those of Condrieu.

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