Some of you may or may not be aware that we produce a delicious varietal wine called ‘The Albino’ or otherwise known as the White Wallaby.
The idea behind this label is that we are able to produce a white wine each vintage with different varieties of fruit that have come up with the goods throughout the season. The fun part about this is that each vintage could be a different style, different blend and be appealing for different reasons from one year to the next.
Now, I have mentioned in my past blog posts that Winemakers are Scientists at heart who love to experiment and play. They often decide on or around the day what fruit they might blend together and then have a jolly old time testing & analyzing it as it progresses.
For us, The Albino has seen two different blends, both of which have produced amazing results and have been a real hit among the punters!
The blend that I would like to delve into here though, is our most recent one which comprises of Viognier & Marsanne. The reason I want to discuss this blend is because we commonly get asked “what are those fruit varieties?” Loads of people have never heard of them, can’t pronounce them and have no idea what they are actually tasting… they just know they like it! So it occurred to me that these grape varieties need a bit more time spent exploring them and their amazing qualities; because the general public deserves to have a better appreciation & understanding of what makes them so unique!
Let me start with the one that gets peoples tongues tied, Viognier, pronounced
Vee – on – yeah.
Originally from Southern France, in the Northern Rhone region of Condrieu, Viognier has become an international success. It is now planted all throughout the world, but is at its absolute best in warm, dry climates, such as Australia.
Typical aromas that you will catch from this delicious variety are apricots, peaches, honeysuckle and sometimes gingerbread. Upon tasting it, it has this beautiful ability to coat your mouth with a lovely balance of acidity and fruit sweetness. A real “food” wine that compliments particular dishes, bringing out the best in the food and the wine. When deciding what to match with with Viognier, the best dishes would comprise of poultry or fish with a creamy base.
Viognier is also fantastic with mildly spicy dishes, again with a focus on the more creamy spicy dishes. Examples of this would be Chicken Korma or the milder Thai Curries where the match should be sensational.
An interesting fact about this grape variety is that, although it is a white grape, it is often blended in with red varieties, such as Shiraz. The purpose of this is to integrate the flavours from the two different varieties to give the wine a little something extra. Viognier livens the Shiraz up; leaving you with a punchy, elegant wine that is often unforgettable!
Marsanne also originates from the Northeren Rhone region in France but was introduced into Australia during the 1860’s.
Aromas on the nose are most commonly oranges, sweet lemon, figs, apricot, pear, and almond notes. While on the palate, you will get a rich texture similar to beeswax, roasted nuts, pears, lemon, cardamom and anise. Again, Marsanne is a real “food” wine and is best accompanied with seafood, roast chicken, fish or creamy dishes.
Like Viognier, Marsanne has a delicate balance of acidity and ripeness, and as such the two grape varieties have a rather tight window for harvest. If they are left too long on the vine, the acidity will drop and the wines can become flabby, which is not a good thing! When harvested at the optimal time, however, Marsanne & Viognier are rich, layered, and delicious.
You can see from the above similarities why these two grapes varieties are often blended together, and when picked at the perfect moment, given the right love & attention; can form the base of some of the most delicious white varietal wines getting around.
Commonly we have found that those who love to drink Chardonnay, love the Viognier-Marsanne blend. Because of its delicate balance of acidity and fruit sweetness, along with the full mouth coating experience that this blend leaves you with; it really is something quite special! But to be honest, I believe anyone who is willing to step outside their 'wine comfort zone', will be pleasantly surprised with this cracking blend!
We absolutely love that we are able to deliver wines of this calibre to you all. We love that we have accessibility to some of the most intriguing grape varieties in the world and that we can treat this fruit with the upmost respect that it deserves.
So, if you have never had the pleasure of trying either of these varieties, I would highly recommend getting your hands on some; and in fact, we know of a great example that we have right at our fingertips that you might like to try!