Viognier has found its current recognition in being a ‘muse' to shiraz wines, adding its unique aromatic lift and richness when added in tiny quantities. When some Viognier became available from grapes to be co-fermented with Shiraz, we jumped at the opportunity to explore a new wine style to Massena.
The grapes for 'the surly muse' are sourced from a single site in the Koonunga Hill sub-region, adjacent to our blocks of old vine Mataro and Grenache. This is one of the coolest regions of the Barossa Valley with an altitude of over 300 metres above sea level. Koonunga Hill is renowned for its deep red, heavy clay soils. We harvest the block at two different stages (up to four weeks apart). The early pick giving the wine great natural acidity and green tinges, whilst the later yields the rich and ripe fruit flavours usually associated with Viognier. Fermentation and ageing of the Viognier was completed ‘surlie' (on lees) in French Barriques for 6 months.
The wine is pale gold in color with bright green highlights. The nose displays aromas of apricots, honeysuckle, wild fennel and grapefruit. The palate is rich yet restrained, with succulent tropical flavours that are matched with fresh acidity, a taught band of minerality and a creamy texture.
"Light green-tinged yellow. Pear skin, lemongrass and lime pith on the nose, with a note of white pepper adding vibrancy. Dry and nervy on entry, fleshing out in the middle and offering chewy citrus and dried pear flavors. Pretty serious and uncompromising for this normally flamboyant variety. Only a whisper of peach on the gripping, spicy, long finish gives this away as possibly being viognier."
International Wine Cellar
"A rich and hedonistic offering of apricot, peach and spice; thickly textured, but with grapefruit-like acidity, providing a fresh twist to the tail; best enjoyed in its youth."
Australian Wine Companion