Pronounced, Vee-on-yay, this variety is an exciting new entrant to the Australian
wine-drinking scene, which Peerick has pioneered in the Pyrenees region.
Viognier is a white grape which hails from a small village in the northern Rhone
Valley in France called Condrieux. The wine was all but unknown elsewhere until
the early 1980s, when started to make its appearance in Australia and in California.
Since then its growth has been very strong and it now takes its place
amongst the very finest white wines in both the old and the new worlds.
Viognier has a lifted, vibrant nose of apricot kernels and honeydew melon, and
a generous palate with depth, length and sheer size. Very few people, on first
trying a good Viognier, are disappointed.
Viognier also lends itself to a range of wine making approaches. The traditional
French approach is for 100% fermentation in oak barrels, usually second or
third use barrels. This tends to emphasise the naturally viscous, or slightly oily,
palate of the variety and to produce a wine of great complexity where the
honeydew melon characters look rather like honeycomb crumble. At the other
end, Viognier can be given the simplest of new world fermentation treatments
in stainless steel tanks. In such a case we have a clean, crisp, light wine of
intense primary fruit flavours, much like an apricot-flavoured Sauvignon Blanc.
"The 2006 Peerick Viognier is an outstanding wine. The aroma is
sublime, with its gentle floral and fresh apricot aromas. There is
good weight and texture on the palate, along with a lemon-fresh
finish. It is one of Australia’s best and makes a stunning
accompaniment to fine food."
Toni Paterson MW, of the Peerick '06 Viognier