A recent wine dinner at XO Sunshine Beach was an insight into Viognier. Damien Hutton from the boutique winery Millbrook which is situated in the Perth Hills was on hand to give a guided tasting through the dinner. Also on show was the wineries recently released Riesling plus some wines from the Barking Owl range. Named for the owls who live in the forests that surround the winery these wines are primarily fruit driven and are designed to drink and enjoy in the short to medium term.
We are by now quite used to seeing shiraz Viognier blends where the Viognier adds aromatics and texture to the wine. As a single white variety it is still a bit misunderstood by the consumer but is gaining a committed following and is really a wine best suited to food. Condrieu the Northern Rhone area is where this white variety has made a name for itself.
At its best Viognier is a rich full bodied, flavoursome wine with slight viscosity and intense ripe stone fruit flavours. The aromatics are a delightful blend reminiscent of apricots, jasmine, peaches, with a hint of ginger spice.
Damian was able to give us some insights into the variety and its great ability to match with food.