The Yangarra Viognier offers a balance of restraint and intensity and the structure for a long life in the cellar. The grapes are hand-picked early in the season to achieve greater fragrance and finesse.
WINE COMPOSITION: 100% Viognier
REGION: Estate grown in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
WINEMAKING: Wild yeast ferment, 4 months maturation in old French oak, monthly lees stirring, no fining just filtration.
Vineyard and Winemaking
The common style of Viognier in Australia is a very rich one with overt dried apricot characters. The Yangarra Viognier is less common in style, it is much more restrained, and picked earlier with the ambition of fragrance and finesse. The vines are planted on an east-facing ridge in the southeastern parcel of our estate vineyard. The soils are sand mixed with ironstone gravels and a modified VSP (vertical shoot positioned) system lets us regulate the amount of sunlight to reach the leaves and grapes. A small amount of fruit thinning is also done pre-veraison to minimise bunch crowding and to ensure even ripening.
The vineyard is certified Biodynamic (certification # 11587) with Australian Certified Organic. We have quite a practical approach, with our philosophy focused around healthy and alive soil, which involves no use of synthetic herbicides or fungicides, use of compost and biodynamic preparations, use of sheep in winter to graze under vine, and minimal mechanical soil disruption.
REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
VINE AGE: 14 years
ELEVATION: 170m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Weathered sands mixed with ironstone gravels
VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane
The Viognier was handpicked and we carefully pressed only 60% of the extractable juice to eliminate any potential bitterness or astringency. No sulphur was added.
Fermentation was started in tank then the ferment was transferred to barrel, where it allowed to naturally complete fermentation. The wine was matured for 4 months, the lees retained and stirred monthly, and received filtration prior to bottling.
PRODUCTION: 250 cases
WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser
The 2017 growing season was one of the coldest on record. We had quite a wet spring, which made shoot and bunch thinning of the utmost importance to reduce crop and ensure ample bunch exposure to sunlight. As much as we pick on sugar/acid balance, and importantly physiological characters, we also consider the biodynamic calendar where possible, with fruit days and flower days being the most desirable, and a root day avoided.
95 points Halliday Wine Companion: "It's viognier but not as you know it. It's not big, fat nor riddled with apricots. Instead, it's savoury and really textural with grilled nuts, jasmine rice, a creamed-honey leesy character and saline-like acidity. As good as it gets and stylishly so. Drink by 2021." (Halliday Wine Companion 2018)
92 points Mike Bennie: 'From the estate plantings, biodynamically farmed, hand picked and sent to winery to natural ferment. It hangs out in tank mostly but some older oak is also applied. It’s a good thing to drink, I reckon. Would love to be on the White House (the Yangarra ‘mansion’) patio drinking this on a summer’s night pre dinner. Feels like a good thing to start an evening with.
Subtle, fine, elegant expression of viognier. Has a soft, nutty complexion amongst the faint apricot, ripe apple, peach kisses in flavour. It’s very long, supple, licked at its heels with oatmeal savouriness, finishes with a quick zest of mixed citrus. So very easy to like the calm, even nature of this wine, and flavours are pleasing. Almost like a comfort white.' - (The Wine Front, February 2017)
92 points James Halliday: 'Estate-grown, 1 tonne/acre, hand-picked, basket-pressed, fermented in stainless steel, matured for 4 months in used French oak. The decision to use the basket press was presumably directed to limit the pressings to free-run juice and possibly oxidise some of the phenolics. Regardless, this is a juicy viognier with light chalky acidity.' (The 2016 Wine Companion)
95 points James Halliday: "Hand-picked from the 1.4ha estate block, whole bunch basket pressed, predominantly tank fermented, then used French oak for 4 months, lees-stired. In typical Yangarra fashion, it has captured the best bits of Viognier, impressive to say the least, especially its fruit on the finish. 362 dozen made. Screwcap. 12% alc. Rating 95 To 2020". (The 2016 Wine Companion).