2019 Whicher Ridge Mademoiselle V Viognier
Viognier is like a rather temperamental child. It’s been a challenging variety to grow and manage in the vineyard, it’s a tough variety to work out when to pick it due to it’s uneven ripening, and, despite it being a fantastically complex and flavoursome wine, it has been a challenge to sell it. Despite all of that, we love this variety dearly for it’s generosity of flavours and it’s ability to match with a wide range of foods, including chilli and thai based dishes.
The grapes are handpicked and crushed at our winery into an open topped fermenter for an extended period of skin contact to extract more flavours and tannins from the grape skins. A few hours later, the must is pressed through our basket press, then chilled slightly. The cloudy juice is fermented initially in tank using wild yeast. Halfway through ferment, the ferment iss transferred into older French oak barrels, a 500L puncheon and 300L hogshead. The wine ferments through to dryness in barrels with a cultured yeast and is lightly sulphured once dry. Similar to our Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, the Viognier remains on it’s yeast lees for 12 months with the lees being stirring as required until bottling.
Our 2019 Viognier is a wine of great intensity and opulence. Aromas of fresh apricot, ginger, musk, white peach and pear, are mixed with powerful lingering flavours of pineapple, and marmalade on the palate. The maturation time in barrels and on yeast lees has given the wine extra complexity and a mouth filling, creamy texture. A crisp acidity level, balances a fine elegant tannin structure.
I am a winemaker with over 30 years of winemaking experience. I moved to South Australia from Tasmania in 1995, after working for Pipers Brook Vineyard and Cascade Brewery. I worked at Orlando Wines, then St Hallett Wines in the Barossa Valley, and in 2002 I moved to Margaret River in Western Australia, to work as Chief Winemaker for Watershed Wines. I have gained a solid reputation for making high quality premium wines, most notably Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. I also enjoy writing, and every blog on our Whicher Ridge website is my own!
Favourite Pastimes – owning horses and dogs, gardening, farm life
We love Viognier for it’s generosity of flavours and it’s ability to match with a wide range of foods, including dishes with spicy, chilli and thai flavours. Warning, you may fall in love with it too!
Vintage in the Geographe Wine region was delayed with heavy rain in mid January 2016 due to a tropical storm, followed by mild to warm day time and cool night time temperatures for the rest of Summer and into early Autumn. The extended ripening time was a benefit though, producing Viognier grapes which were quite exceptional , intense flavours.
We have 3 rows of viognier which produce about 1 to 2 tonnes of grapes. The vines were planted in 2005.
The grapes are Estate grown in our Whicher Ridge Vineyard, nestled in a hidden valley in the Whicher Range. Our vineyard is at an elevation of 170 metres above sea level. The vines are planted in ancient gravelly ironstone hillside plantings, and the cool winds at night coming off the Southern Ocean during summer, give rise to wines of intensity and finesse.
Six Nations International Wine Challenge 2018 - Double Gold
Huon Hooke, The Real Review, March 2018, 95 Points.
'Light to medium yellow hue. The bouquet has a rubbery note at first, from sulfides, which gives way to an array of complex aroma notes including multiple spices and rich fruit notes, while the taste is medium-bodied and generous without being heavy or too strong. A lick of spice probably comes from the well-tempered use of oak barrels. There is richness and also some reserve to it. The finish is warm, dry and generous. An outstanding, multi-layered viognier'.
James Halliday, 2019 Halliday Wine Companion, August 2018, 94 Points.
'This is a very good viognier. It has juicy peach and apricot fruit kept fresh and lively by gentle citrus acidity'
Fig, lemon thyme, Jerusalem artichoke, cilantro, carrots, sweet onion, sweet peppers, corn, pumpkin, pear, marjoram, ginger, chillies, lemon, lychee, rhubarb
$30.00 every 6 months
2016 Une Rangée Petit Verdot
We have one row of this variety in our Whicher Ridge vineyard which we planted in 2005. Une Rangée is the French translation for One Row. Our Petit Verdot is made in ‘petit’ volumes with only 120 cases made in 2016.
2016 Elevation Cabernet
Our cabernet sauvignon vines were grown by Neil from cuttings sourced from a friends’ cabernet block in the planted in the 1970’s in the Margaret River wine region. Our Elevation cabernet vines have a very fine pedigree!
2020 Elevage Sauvignon Blanc
The inspiration for making this style came about from a trip to Austria. Our approach to combine some barrel fermentation with an extended period of time maturing on yeast lees has produced a beautifully textured and intensely flavoured wine.