Massena The Surly Muse Viognier 2009
Viognier from Barossa Valley, Australia
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.
International Wine Cellar - "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."
Australian Wine Companion - "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."
Massena, a winemaking partnership between Dan Standish and Jaysen Collins, has been producing Barossa wine since the 2000 vintage, concentrating on the traditional values and techniques which have made the wines of this region unique. We have dedicated growers in the North Western Barossa areas of Greenock, Kalimna and Koonunga Hill, providing fruit from dry farmed, low yielding vines up to 120 years of age. Whilst we work mostly with traditional Barossa varieties Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro from these growers, we are also trialling new varieties such as Durif, Barbera, Dolcetto, Roussanne, Saperavi and Tannat. View all Massena Wines
About Barossa ValleyView a map of Barossa Valley wineries
The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa ValleyBarossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Eden ValleyRight next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley proper. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.