Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2003
Established in 1849, Yalumba is Australia’s most historic family owned wine company. It remains fiercely independent and extremely progressive through the generational ownership by the Hill-Smith family. Yalumba’s longevity and success is a result of patience, collaboration and progressive thinking. There is foresight to embrace the natural terroir to craft wines with individual character and a sense of purpose, a spirit to reinvest in the land upon which it operates and knowledge to behave as a leader in the industry. It is committed to sharing stories of provenance gathered over more than 168 years of history of family winemaking. Barossa is arguably the single most famous wine region in Australia. Barossa includes both Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, making it one of the only areas in Australia to have neighbouring warm and cool climate growing conditions. Yalumba is privileged to have access to some of the oldest vineyards in the world in Barossa Valley, including 1889 bush vine Grenache and 1908 Shiraz. At the inner sanctum of Coonawarra, on the prized terra rossa soil, lies Yalumba’s Coonawarra estate, The Menzies Vineyard. Comprised predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon vines, this single vineyard is committed to growing premium quality fruit reflecting distinctive varietal characters of the region. Wrattonbully’s cool climate, plentiful high quality artesian water and well drained terra rossa soils led wine companies to plant large areas of mainly red grape varieties.
At Yalumba we continually strive to reduce our impact on the environment, stay involved in our community, and make great wine with minimal intervention in the vineyard and in the winery. We are committed to sustainable practices, with the belief that the healthier and more biodiverse the vineyards are the better the wines will be. Yalumba has been developing its own sustainable viticulture program since the mid 1990s, promoting the economic production of quality grapes . For every hectare of vineyard we own, we have at least one hectare of native vegetation. Our winemaking philosophy and practice means that our wines are made with the least intervention possible but with as much knowledge, confidence and expertise as possible. We want our wines to show their provenance and natural appellation – whether it be a single site, a variety or blend, or a personal style. At Yalumba we have been making wine utilising ‘wild yeast’ for over 20 years. We believe that the success and consistency that we have with wild ferments is a direct result of healthy biodiverse vineyards. All Yalumba wines are 100% vegan since the 2012 vintage, elevating our wines to a safe and ethical choice. Becoming vegan came from the desire to make wines of conviction that taste of provenance and natural appellation; and that ultimately represent quality.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers work diligently to ensure grapes reach the perfect levels of phenolic ripeness.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Shiraz on its own or Rhône Blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. Often Shiraz and Cabernet partner up for plump and powerful reds. While much less prevalent, light-skinned varieties such as Riesling, Viognier or Semillon produce vibrant Barossa Valley whites.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône, and the only one allowed in Condrieu and neighboring monopole (an entire appellation dedicated to just one winery), Château Grillet. It is also a blending variety in several appellations throughout the entire Rhône Valley. Viognier is grown throughout much of the rest of the wine world with some degree of success. Look for great New World examples from California, Chile, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.
In the Glass
This is an aromatic variety making rich, complex and full-bodied white wines redolent of a full bouquet of flowers, stone and tropical fruits and a dash of spice. It is lower in acidity than most white wines, lending to its heavy impression on the palate. While a whiff of Viognier might suggest sweet flavors, these wines are typically quite dry.
Viognier is an intense, bold variety that can easily stand up to hearty food like pork loin with apricot stuffing, roasted chicken or chicken Kiev.
While Viognier is a white grape, it also plays an important role in the red wines of Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône. About 5% Viognier is typically co-fermented with the Syrah in order to stabilize the color, and as an added benefit, add a subtle perfume.