Yalumba The Virgilius Eden Valley Viognier
Yalumba winemaker Louisa Rose is waxing lyrical about old vines these days, and puts a lot of viognier’s reputation for short-lived wines down to young vines, pointing out that even the variety’s spiritual home of Condrieu in the Rhône Valley was only planted since the 1980s. To Rose, it’s refinement, not proportions, that old vines bring, and Virgilius is evidence. Sourced largely from 1980s vines, there’s no question this wine is more gracious and more ageworthy at 13.5% alcohol today than it ever was at 14.5% in the past. A barrel selection process favours samples of coiled restraint and rejects those that leap out of the glass. No wonder the result is so restrained and understated, though lacking nothing in complexity, layered texture, masterfully-handled phenolic grip and wonderful mouth feel. White peach, apricot kernel and bitter grapefruit notes linger with grand persistence and fine-tuned focus. $37 at Wine Box Warehouse.
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