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Wine

Pinot Gris vs Grigio: What’s the difference?

There is Pinot Gris and then there is Pinot Grigio, but what if any, are the differences? We chat with Adam Walls and Dave Mavor from our Tasting Panel, plus some super-passionate Pinot G winemakers to set the record straight.

“Pinot G is hugely popular with Australian wine-lovers, but there’s still so much confusion surrounding this fresh and fashionable white,” says Adam Walls, Tasting Panellist, Wine Show Judge, Wine Educator and 2019 Len Evans Tutorial Dux. “To put it simply, they are both made from the same grape variety, but are crafted to produce two different styles.”

“The grape variety is a member of the Pinot Noir family and has two different names thanks to the two countries in which it is most commonly grown: France and Italy,” explains Adam. “Across the two styles, the common aroma and flavour descriptors include apple, pear, strawberry, honey, brioche and nuts.”

Just to add to the confusion, across the wine world it also has several names: in Germany the grape is known as Grauburgunder, in the Loire and Switzerland, it’s called Malvoisie, it’s known as Pinot Beurot in Burgundy and in Hungary, it’s called Szurkebarát which means grey monk.

PIÙ LEGGERO PINOT GRIGIO

The word Grigio is the Italian for "grey" and has made a name for being a light, crisp wine ideal for early drinking and is most famously known in the regions of Veneto and Friuli.

Bonjour! is it gris you’re looking for?

Gris is French for "grey" and in France it finds its home in the Alsace region. French Pinot Gris is generally known for being a rich, full-bodied white with a smooth, silky texture.

AUSSIE PINOT G GOODESS

The variety was first introduced to the Hunter Valley with the James Busby collection of 1832, however, it wasn't until the 1990s that it started to emerge.

Thanks to winemaking couple Kathleen Quealy and Kevin McCarthy, Pinot G is now one of Australia’s most popular white varietals. Kathleen and Kevin started their vineyard in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in 1998 and set about planting a range of varietals suited to the climate, including Pinot Gris. They released their first commercial Pinot Gris in 1933, and have huge success since, and are now seen as setting the benchmark for Australian interpretations.

Their son Tom, a winemaker at Quealy wines, has inherited his parents' passion for Pinot G and has completed vintages in the homes of both the Gris and Grigio styles.

"I’ve worked vintages at Domain Paul Blanck in Alsace, where Pinot Gris is one of four premium varieties", he explains. "Their vineyards define the quality and the personality of each of their wines. They revel in the power and voluptuousness of these wines, from bone dry with the generous dollop of extract in the middle palate, to off dry with enough flavour and structure to make the wine balanced and suitable with a main course. They’re able to make and market their even richer sweeter late harvest styles. The wines are beautiful to drink, slightly drying out with a few years bottle age, and suit their dishes of duck and pork.

"I have also worked and spent time in Friuli. Their lighter soils and their food culture define their Pinot Grigio style: crunchy pear, dry and textured. The winemaking art of blending abounds. There are field blends and regional blends of many white varieties, with Pinot Grigio a central component."

AUSSIE WINE REGIONS PINOT G LOVES

According to Wine Australia “While it’s nowhere near the heady heights of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot G, is growing rapidly with plantings of the grape outstripping Viognier, Verdelho, Muscat, Colombard and Riesling, and it’s now nipping at the heels of Semillon.”

In Australia, the cool climate regions of Mornington Peninsula, Tasmania, Adelaide Hills, Orange, King Valley and Great Southern have the ideal conditions to produce high quality fruit and that allow winemakers to experiment with styles.

MORNINGTON PENINSULA

Tom Quealy says the  Mornington Peninsula's superior suitability for Pinot G is down to a combination of regional factors. "It's the climate - cool, maritime, Indian summers. It's the cloud cover and sea breezes. The Red Hill and Main Ridge flank creates intimate valleys of rich volcanic soils that hold onto the rainfall. The dryland farming keeps each berry and bunch tiny and concentrated. Then there's a winemaking fraternity reared on Pinot Noir and now applying these skills to their love child Pinot Gris." 

ADELAIDE HILLS

Another standout Aussie Pinot G producer is Wicks Estate in the Adelaide Hills, where, Tim Wicks, explains, "The cool evenings promote great acid retention in the fruit, along with a gradual flavour ripeness without excess phenolic development. This allows the variety to retain a charming aromatic lift which combines beautifully with the subtle textural elements."

At Wicks Estate, they make a Gris rather than a Grigio, but as Tim describes, it may be akin to the Gris style, but it maintains a hint of the Grigio aromatics and racier acid lines. This is reflective of the Gris-Grigio overlap that Tim sees as common in Australia.

"We have countless fantastic wines that tend towards either the richer Gris characters or lighter aromatic Grigio characteristics. There are also wines that exhibit traits of both, take our Wicks Estate Pinot Gris, for example. We like the sharpened focus and aromatic style of the Grigio, but tend to lean towards the textural qualities of Gris on the palate. The styles have their own identity; however, we have diverse terroir and climate in Australia that can lend itself to a hybrid style."

Celebrated Adelaide Hills winemaker Tim Knappstein sources fruit from a single vineyard near Lenswood to craft his Riposte The Stilletto Pinot Gris. “For the 2018 around 25% of the free run juice was fermented in French oak hogsheads and barriques of which 10% were new,” explains Dave Mavor, Tasting Panellist, Winemaker and Wine Show Judge. “It was then blended with the fresh tank fermented portions to provide a balance of fruit and complexity resulting in a wine showing a juicy pear and lemon fruit core, bright and fresh acidity, lovely texture and mouth-watering persistence.”

KING VALLEY

The landscape of Victoria’s King Valley is extremely varied, from the flats of the Oxley Plains to the heights of the Whitlands Plateau, one of the highest vineyard areas in Australia. It’s a melting pot for Mediterranean varieties due to its climatic similarity to Italy and Spain making it a top location to grow premium Pinot G.

“What makes our Pinot Grigio style so distinctive is the decision to harvest the fruit early to achieve light floral fruit flavours with good natural acidity. The juice is handled oxidatively to naturally remove any colour and unwanted tannins prior to settling and racking, then fermented cool in stainless steel to preserve fruit flavours followed by a short maturation period on lees during autumn and winter, before bottling in the spring,” explains Chrismont winemaker Warren Proft.

Chrismont also produces Pinot Gris as a partner to their Italian-inspired La Zona Pinot Grigio – the end result presents a compelling case for the diversity of the variety and its suitability to the King Valley region.

With their Italian family heritage, it’s a no brainer that Alfredo and Katrina Pizzini produce excellent Pinot Grigio from their King Valley vineyards. Made by their winemaker son, Joel Pizzini, their 2017 Pinot Grigio is a pure expression of the style, It’s dry and savoury with a fresh line of acidity driving the white and yellow fruit core through to the chalky finish.

ORANGE

Located in the New South Wales Central Ranges, the Orange wine region has the perfect cool climate and soil types to produce outstanding Pinot G expressions. It’s geographical indicator starts at 600 metres and has vineyards at elevations right through the scale to 1200 metres above sea level; Orange is the highest wine region in Australia and ranks among some of the highest in the world. Winemakers have the luxury of cool weather to retain delicate flavours and enough sunlight to achieve ripening.

“The Trophy and 2 x Gold medal-winning Angullong Pinot Grigio 2019 and Gold medal-winning Printhie Mountain Range Pinot Gris 2018 are both fantastic examples coming out of the Orange region,” say Adam Walls, Tasting Panellist, Wine Show Judge, Wine Educator and 2019 Len Evans Tutorial Dux.

“Simply put, the Printhie is one of the best we’ve tasted in 2019 – rich and full-bodied, with concentrated fruit flavours, grapefruit-like acidity, supple mouthfeel and a creamy finish in a solid Gris style. More proof, if it was needed, of the Orange region’s ability to excite with the sheer quality of wines that it’s producing,” Adam says. “Certain to take out more awards, the Angullong Pinot Grigio delivers soft, savoury yellow fruits with subtle herbaceous notes, pear, nectarine, ginger and dried herb and a juicy acid finish.”

GREAT SOUTHERN

The Great Southern region of Western Australia is a relatively new playground for Pinot G producers. It’s cool-climate wines are carefully crafted against a striking backdrop of some of the world’s most diverse National Heritage landscapes by wineries including West Cape Howe, Ludic Wines, Howard Park Wines and more.

“Our 2019 Pinot Grigio was been sourced from three vineyards – Mount Barker, Frankland and Margaret River,” explains Gavin Berry, West Cape Howe Managing Director and senior winemaker. “The later 2019 season meant the fruit ripened in generally cooler conditions, preserving the Pinot Grigio’s delicate fruit characters.”

“Meanwhile, our West Cape Howe Pinot Gris 2019 from Great Southern features crunchy white fruit with hints of jasmine and oyster shell. It’s elegant yet intensely flavoursome, true to the Gris style with a rich, textural and velvety finish.”

TASMANIA

Tasmania’s naturally elegant wines are made from grapes grown in climates similar to those of the famous European wines – with mild summers and long autumn days that ripen the grapes providing elegance and intensity of flavour. While its wine history dates back as far as 1823, it wasn’t until the early 1970s that the industry began to flourish and it now produces elegant cool climate including Pinot Gris. 

Relbia Estate sources it’s fruit from the southern end of the Tamar Valley producing elegant cool climate wines showing crisp acidity, complexity and intensity. Winemaker Ockie Myburgh describes their Pinot Grigio 2017 – “Our Pinot Grigio is harvested ripe to capture full varietal character. The grapes are gently destemmed without crushing the berries, juice is pressed directly to a stainless-steel tank. Fermentation is carried out on light solids to provide a fuller mouth feel with texture and to balance the crisp acidity.” 

Another winemaker making a mark with their Pinot G is René Bezemer who sourced fruit from two of Ninth Island’s vineyards in Tasmania, Pipers Brook and Tamar Valley to create their 2016 Pinot Grigio. It’s deliciously textural and rich with good fruit-depth, balanced by lovely crisp acidity through to the long, complex finish.

TAKE THE TASTE TEST

Whether you choose a richer Gris or a zestier Grigio, or a mix of both, you can’t go wrong with Pinot G. Explore our diverse range now to discover your new favourites.

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Salute to Shiraz
Words by Mark Hughes on 19 Jul 2017
We examine the remarkable success of Australian Shiraz through the eyes of some of those who know it best,  Australia's First Families of Wine. Is there any wine more symbolic of Australia than  Shiraz ? Hard working, popular and a great lover of food, it is just as much a descriptor for an Aussie living abroad, as it is for our famed Shiraz. The fact that we call it 'Shiraz' is just the first of many ways we have adopted this varietal as our own. In the rest of the world it is called 'Syrah' in reference to its French heritage, but as is our cultural right, we have corrupted the title to suit our style. To us, it 'Shiraz', with an emphasis on the 'raz'. But Shiraz suits us, too. In its spiritual home in the Rhône region in France, it is seen as a bit of a workhorse varietal, creating solid medium-weight red wines,  but certainly not escalating to the regal heights afforded the Cabernets of Bordeaux or the Pinots of Burgundy. In Australia, however, it is revered as our premium red, and rightly so, as it is capable of producing a range of delectable wines that can be consumed now, or aged for years. "It grows just about anywhere, and suits most of Australia's range of climates," says Hunter Valley winemaker Bruce Tyrrell. "With 61 different regions, there are 61 different styles." Tyrrell's  are one of the 12 members of  Australia's First Families of Wine (AFFW) , along with  Brown Brothers ,  d'Arenberg ,  De Bortoli , Campbells, Henschke,  Howard Park , Jim Barry,  McWilliam's , Taylors,  Tahbilk  and Yalumba. With over 1,300 years combined winemaking experience, and vineyards from coast to coast, the group is perfectly placed to tell the many faceted story of Australian Shiraz. After all, there is a true provenance with Shiraz and Australia's First Families - that sense of place, style and history that a wine develops from its consistent quality across vintages. "My family owns Shiraz vines that are 137 years old, and there are many older vineyards still in production around the country," says Scott McWilliam. "As winemakers, we've had lots of time to learn how to get the best of Shiraz, and we're seeing continued success with regions and new styles emerging frequently."   SPRINGBOARD TO SUCCESS
In many ways, the success of Shiraz in Australia mirrors that of Australia's  First Families. Starting small, this varietal has, through its proud history, earned integrity and respect deserved and given the world over. Alister Purbrick from Tahbilk in Victoria's Nagambie Lakes points out that the versatility of Australian Shiraz put us centre stage in the world of wine and paved the way for our export market. "This success means that Australia boasts a critical mass of many styles of Shiraz which have captivated the world's influencers," says Alister. "The result is that Australia 'owns' this variety and ownership of a segment is a powerful position to be in."   SENSATIONAL STYLES
Scott McWilliam from McWilliam's Wines   So what are the different styles of Shiraz? In Alister's neck of the woods, where the moderating influence of an inland water mass keeps the climate between cool and moderate, the resulting style of Nagambie Lakes Shiraz is "savoury and mid-weight with a myriad of subtle flavours which tend to change and evolve as the bottle is consumed," says Alister. The Hunter Valley style is also savoury, "light to mid-weight with plenty of complexity with its base more in fruit and acid than in tannin and alcohol," says Bruce, who adds his perfect food match is aged Hunter Shiraz and flame-grilled, medium-rare Angus steak left to rest before it is served. Pioneers of the varietal in New South Wales, particularly in the Hunter Valley , McWilliam's have also been exploring Shiraz from the cooler Hilltops region. "Hilltops Shiraz is a beautiful example of a medium-bodied style," says Scott. "It has fruit forward characters with supple yet complex spicy aromatics and fleshy blue fruits, but it's not quite as peppery or jammy as Shiraz from other regions."   SOUTH OZ SHIRAZ
Jim Barry and Tom Barry from Jim Barry Wines If any region can lay claim to the most recognisable style of Australian Shiraz, it is the Barossa, its big, fruity wines of the 1980s and 90s established us on the world wine map. It makes perfect sense, as the state can lay claim to the oldest Shiraz vines in the world. First planted in the Barossa Valley in the mid 1800s, these vines were around 50 years old when phylloxera decimated the original root stock across France and greater Europe in the 1900s. Now over 160 years old, these same vines are responsible for producing some of the most lauded Shiraz in the world. "Many of the younger vineyards have been planted using these heritage vineyards as sources," explains Robert Hill-Smith, from Australia's oldest family-owned winery, Yalumba. "In the Barossa, we are very lucky to have not only a perfect Mediterranean-style climate, but also a diverse range of soils types and terroirs and Shiraz thrives in them all. "In the higher and cooler Eden Valley , aromas and flavours are more aromatic - red and blue fruits with violets, sage, pepper, and the wines more elegant and linear than in the warmer Barossa Valley where they're round and velvety and show more blue and black fruits - dark cherry, fruitcake, plum, blackberry, mulberry, black olives, chocolate and liquorice." Other wine regions in South Australia can also boast Shiraz of world renown, McLaren Vale , in particular. d'Arenberg's colourful winemaker Chester Osborn says the different soil types and sub-climes of McLaren Vale can result in many different types of Shiraz, but overall attributes "a certain savoury, fragrant, flowery edge to McLaren Vale Shiraz, full, but elegant and quite spicy with a crushed ant character that sets it apart from other regions." Known for its Riesling, the Clare Valley is emerging as a stellar region for Shiraz. Mitchell Taylor, third generation managing director and winemaker at Taylors Wines says Clare Shiraz has a certain powerful elegance and finesse you don't see from many other places. "Because of the Clare's climate of long, warm sunny days and cool nights, the fruit develops and ripens slowly," he explains. "This ensures the rich flavours develop into more subtle and elegant characteristics, but with great concentration of flavour."   EXPRESS YOURSELF
Darren DeBortoli of DeBortoli Wines In the cool climates, Shiraz is expressed as a much leaner wine, while still showing its famed fruit profile. This is certainly true of Victoria's Yarra Valley where Shiraz is still savoury and spicy, but also shows a certain elegance. "Yarra Shiraz is medium bodied and elegant in style," says De Bortoli red winemaker, Sarah Fagan. "Lifted aromatics and grainy tannins are also commonplace." Katherine Brown, winemaker at Brown Brothers, explains they get most of their fruit for their iconic 18 Eighty Nine Shiraz from the central Victorian region of Heathcote and, as such, you may find a touch of eucalyptus in their Shiraz, which she describes as having "vibrant purple colours with rich blackberry and plum fruit and black pepper clove spice." In the warmer Rutherglen region of Victoria, Shiraz is expressed in a bolder style such as Campbell's famed Bobbie Burns Shiraz, which is a rich, full flavoured red with ripe berry fruit balanced by oak with a long, soft tannin finish.   GO WEST
Howard Park's Burch Family   In recent times, Western Australia has proven to be a mecca for many wine varietals, with Shiraz no exception. One of the state's premier producers is Howard Park and its chief winemaker Janice McDonald says the Great Southern sub-regions of Frankland and Mount Barker are where Shiraz reigns supreme. "The cooler, more continental climes of these sub-regions are favoured for growing our Flint Rock Shiraz," she says. "The wines display a great intensity of dark fruits with traces of spice, earth and soft tannins. The use of fine grain French oak crafts a layered and complex wine."   BLENDED FAMILIES
The Henschke Family   One of the other great qualities of Shiraz is that it blends beautifully with other varietals. We are famed globally for our 'great Australian red' - Shiraz Cabernet (see Tyson Stelzer's story on this iconic blen in the July/August issue of  Selector ). The reason these two great wines work so well together is due to the firm, fruity body of Australian Shiraz perfectly filling out the mid-palate of Cabernet, such as we see in the Jim Barry Shiraz Cabernet from Clare Valley. Other popular blends include Shiraz Viognier, Shiraz Grenache, while the GSM blend, Grenache Shiraz Mataro, has a long and successful history in Australia. Henschke's Henry's Seven is a delicious blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro and Viognier. "It is a tribute to Henry Evans, who planted the first vineyard at Keyneton in 1853," explains Justine Henschke, who challenges the traditional steak and Shiraz pairing. "We love to recommend game meats such as duck, venison and kangaroo. Lamb is an excellent match, too."   A SHIRAZ FUTURE
Bruce Tyrrell inspecting the vineyards   Winemakers love Shiraz for its reliability, impressive yields and resistance to disease; drinkers love it because it is delicious when young, even more beguiling with some age and is great with a range of foods. But its crowning glory is its versatility, its ability to express itself beautifully across many wine regions. And that's key to the success of Australian Shiraz globally. "The world now accepts that we do it better than anyone else," says Bruce. "The future for Australian Shiraz is endless, as long as winemakers stay true to the variety and the region where it is grown."  
Wine
Know Your Variety - Prosecco
Words by Adam Walls on 19 Nov 2017
Adam Walls reveals how Fizz from France is no longer the number one choice for Sparkling wine lovers. Prosecco is the fizz from Italy that’s overtaking Champagne as the world’s most loved Sparkling wine. The surge in its popularity has seen many an imitation hit the market, even in cans in some parts of Europe! Understandably, the Italians were keen to protect their product, and since 2009, it’s been designated a wine of origin under EU law. This means you can only call it Prosecco if it comes from its region of origin in north-east Italy. Except in Australia, that is. We can still use the name on our Prosecco-style wines sold here, but if they’re exported, they must bear the name of the grape it’s made from, Glera. Prosecco at a Glance Origins Prosecco dates back to Roman times when it was known as Puccino. The bubbly style we know today emerged in the early 1900s thanks to the invention of secondary fermentation techniques. The north-eastern Italian regions where you’ll find a profusion of Prosecco are Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Did you know? There are three styles of Prosecco: dry and still; lightly sparkling Frizzante; foaming Spumante. The dry, still style is rarely seen outside Italy and the one we see most of in Australia is Spumante. In Australia
Our home of Prosecco is Victoria’s King Valley , driven by the Italian heritage of many of the local wine pioneers. Add to this the similarity of the region’s rolling hills to those of Veneto and you’ve got Prosecco perfection. You’ll also find great examples in the Adelaide Hills , Macedon and Hilltops . Characters The Glera grape has high acidity and a fairly neutral palate, making it ideal for Sparkling wine production. Prosecco is made using the Italian method where secondary fermentation occurs in a pressurised tank, the bubbles are captured and the wine is then bottled under pressure. This results in a lower alcohol wine driven by bright fruit and acidity rather than the savouriness of bottle fermented fizz. Find out more about the difference between Champagne and Prosecco here . Glera’s aromatic profile is characterised by white peaches, pear and citrus. You can also get floral notes of jasmine and hints of pistachio nut.
Wine
Know Your Variety - Viognier
From near extinction, to a vibrant revival, Australian Viognier is going from strength to strength. To help us learn more about this elegant wine, we reached out to a few experts with winemakers from Yalumba, Soumah and Claymore Wines. Marnie Roberts, Claymore Wines’ chief winemaker , sums up this luscious and complex white variety: “ Viognier can be a bit tricky to get right as it has a tendency to have variable crop loads, favours warm, but not hot climates, and requires specific attention to harvest time as it provides a small window for ripeness,” she says. “In saying that, if you get it right, the perfume and aromatics, as well as flavour and delicate mouthfeel produce an absolutely stunning wine.” Australian Viognier - An Infographic Guide Origins
Viognier ’s spiritual home is in France’s northern Rhône appellations of Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie, however, it is thought that it originated in Dalmatia (Bosnia) and was imported into France around 280AD. While Viognier is popular now, it came close to extinction in the 1960s, largely because of its low yields and unpredictability in the vineyard. By 1968 there were only around 14 hectares growing in northern Rhône. Luckily for wine lovers, by the 1980s a few Californian wineries and Australia’s Yalumba had become very interested in Viognier, ensuring its rescue and a new lease on life. Viognier in Australia
Australia’s diverse climate results in a broad range of Viognier styles from the elegant, fragrant style to a luscious, full-bodied white wine. While, Viognier is grown across Australia in regions including Barossa , Adelaide Hills , Hunter Valley , the Yarra Valley , Riverland and the Limestone Coast, it’s in the Eden Valley under the care of Yalumba , that it has really flourished and produces some of the world’s best white wines.    Considered one of the world’s most influential producers of Viognier, Yalumba was responsible for the first significant plantings in Australia when they planted 1.2 hectares of vines in the Eden Valley’s Vaughan Vineyard back in 1980. For over 40 years they have nurtured the variety in their Yalumba Nursery from the early Montpellier 1968 clones used for nearly half of the early plantings, to instigating a clonal development programme in consultation with the great Viognier makers from around the globe. What the Experts Have to Say
Louisa Rose – chief winemaker, Yalumba A leader within Australia’s wine industry, Louisa’s career with Yalumba spans over 20 years with her passion for Viognier and her developmental work of the varietal making her name synonymous with Viognier in Australia.    “After many years of work and experimentation, we have six individual wines in our Yalumba Viognier collection,” explains Louisa. “In 2005, eight different clones propagated in the Yalumba Nursery were planted on the south-eastern part of the Yalumba Eden Valley vineyard in the Virgilius Vineyard. It’s now the most clonally diverse planting of Viognier anywhere in Australia – giving my team and I, the opportunity to create wines of great promise and diversity.” “Viognier is exciting to drink and talk about – it goes so well with our food based lifestyle,” says Louisa. “There is still a long way to go to make the variety known to all the wine drinkers out there, lots of talking and tasting and spreading the world.” Scott McCarthy – chief winemaker, Soumah Located in the Yarra Valley , Soumah specialises in wines from eastern France and across to northern Italy and refers to their Viognier as Goldie Locks, “as it has to picked just right!” “It’s the peaches and cream characteristics that we seek and in our quest, we’ve planted three distinct clones of Viognier,” says Scott. “However, it is not only about the creamy lusciousness of the wine, it is also about a refined yet nervous spine that leaves a fresh clean-cut finish.” “If we pick too early we lose the peaches, if we pick too late we will deliver an oily, clumsy wine, so it has to be just right, a goldilocks temperament so to speak, and we endeavour to get it just right every year!”
Marnie Roberts – chief winemaker, Claymore Wines Claymore Wines ’ Shankly Vineyard is one of the very few plantings of Viognier in the Clare Valley. “Our Viognier is grown in a small pocket in Watervale that provides ambient sunshine and daytime warmth but cool nights. This allows the delicate florals and juicy acid to gradually develop and gives us the opportunity to have a bit of a play with it. We pick at a lower end of ripening (about 10 baume) to retain the juicy acid and delicate nature to allow us to stop fermentation prior to complete dryness for an off-dry to sweet style of this grape,” Marnie explains. “Our Skinny Love Summer Viognier is made with minimal intervention ensuring that the mouthfeel is super appealing, like biting into a red delicious apple. It’s an extremely pretty, delicate and approachable wine.” Viognier Tasting Notes The distinguishing characters of Australian Viognier include stone fruit, predominantly apricot, perfumed scents and high alcohol. Viognier responds positively to oak, adding richness to the texture and a nutty complexity that complements the apricots. Viognier is also regularly co-fermented, or blended with Shiraz to give further complexity and fragrance. “When great, the wines are seductive, luscious, opulent, viscous, full-flavoured with exotic aromas of lychee, musk, rose, pear, apricot, peach, nectarine, ginger, spice, citrus blossoms and long silky rich textures,” explains Louisa Rose. Food Matches Similar in weight to Chardonnay and Rousanne, it pairs well with a great range of foods including rich seafood, red and white meats, and spicy dishes like Indian, Thai and Moroccan. “In short Viognier is a fabulous food wine,” says Louisa Rose. “It goes with everything from the spicy northern African to Asian cuisine, from white meat to reds meat, and with all the earthy flavours and textures such as mushrooms, wasabi and root vegetables, plus it’s just at home with a cheese plate.” “Viognier covers the foods and occasions that you would expect a white to, and then seamlessly moves into those that you would normally associate more with red wines and it is often called the red wine drinkers white wine,” she says.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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