WINE SCHOOL 16 - 22 January 2017

REGION: Australia > Margaret River

Margaret River is the most important wine region in Western Australia and is home to many small producers of quality wine. Temperatures are maintained at beneficially warm levels year round due to the proximity of the Indian Ocean.

Key red grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz
Key white grapes: Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Verdelho


GRAPE: Viognier

Viognier is no shrinking violet. Brash, some might say. But if a hedonistic floral fruit-bomb takes your fancy once in a while (and it really ought to, don't you think?) then look no further.

Apricots and peaches are the signifier aromas of viognier. With nose in glass the olfactory cells can be initally flattened by a hit of pure apricot syrup. But there is more. Honeysuckle certainly. Sherbert lemons? Perhaps a touch of coconut. And, just sometimes, an intoxicating musky note.

Viognier has long been grown in the Rhone, most notably the Condrieu region. More recently it has been enthusiastically adopted in South Africa and Australia and examples can now be found across the wine-making world.

Viognier grapes are sometimes used in small quantities to add fragrance or sweetness to red wines, a practice of whose value I remain unconvinced.

RECOMMENDED WINES

Next week in WINE SCHOOL: Alsace (France) & Gewürztraminer

SEARCH TRIPTYCHS
By retailer By wine name