Posts Tagged ‘viognier’

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir and Mountain Ice Icewine

Wednesday, 14 July, 2010

Crimson Pinot NoirMountain Ice 2009 Viognier/Chardonnay IcewineAnother two-for-one wine post. The Pinot Noir is by Ata Rangi in Martinborough, New Zealand, vintage 2008. I really liked the previous Pinot Noir I had, so it was good to try a different one. We took this bottle to a local pizza restaurant. The colour is a striking transparent crimson red. The aroma I didn’t get a good handle on I’m afraid – it was mostly a heady alcoholic smell, with nothing else I could really recognise apart from the usual “red wine” smell. The taste, however, was a triple-layered development of flavours. At first it was very dry and mild, and both M. and I detected the slight prickle of fermentation. I understand this is usually considered a fault in red wines, but pinot noir seems light enough that it doesn’t seem astray. The overall effect was quite un-wine-like, with almost a chalky feel to it. In fact, it reminded me of the taste of a soluble aspirin. But after a few seconds, the flavour developed into a pleasant fruity number, mostly reminiscent of raspberries. Leaving it sit in the mouth for a while longer started to bring out some mild tannin. Overall I’d say I was happy with it, but perhaps not as nice as the previous pinot.

Today’s second wine is an icewine I bought on our recent day trip to the Blue Mountains. It’s from Orange Mountain Winery, near Orange in inland New South Wales. They freeze the Viognier and Chardonnay grapes artificially to concentrate the sugar for this sweet dessert wine. A sticker on the bottle says it won “Best Icewine” at the 2009 International Sweet Wine Challenge. It’s a gorgeous luminous pale straw yellow in colour. The smell is of citrus fruits, with orange and lemon coming out. But the taste is very different, being strong tropical fruits – passionfruit and pineapple, with a touch of orange. And it’s exceedingly sweet – possibly the sweetest wine I’ve ever tasted; I certainly can’t recall a sweeter one. All of which make it delicious and more-ish. I want to see if I can find more of this one! We had this at home with a platter of brie, jarlsberg, and a cream cheese with apricot and almond in it, on crackers. What better dessert could you want?

Wild Oats 2006 Shiraz/Viognier

Sunday, 14 March, 2010

Wild Oats 2006 Shiraz/Viognier
We went out to Hugo’s at Manly (flash website) for dinner last night for my nephew’s birthday. My sister- and brother-in-law like shiraz, so this ended up being chosen from the wine list. The Wild Oats winery (more flash) is apparently run by the same people behind the Wild Oats yacht racing syndicate, which famously contests the Sydney to Hobart every year.

I was surprised to see a blend of shiraz and viognier. From my rudimentary experience, shiraz is a powerful, full-bodied, and very spicy red, while viognier produces tangy and florally aromatic whites. Of course mixing opposites sometimes produces amazing results. I don’t know if this was truly amazing, but a gold medal at a London wine show can’t be all that bad.

The spicy aroma of shiraz was muted and there was something else elusive and unidentifiable there. Complex and interesting, at any rate. The initial taste was of tart green fruitiness, slightly reminiscent of the sauvignon blanc I had a few weeks ago, and which was very surprising coming from a deep purple-red wine like this. The spiciness of the shiraz kicked in after a while, but it was restrained in strength, and always mixed with that surprising tartness. The typical peppery flavour was either absent or only at a very low level. There was a hint of dark plum.

All together, an eye-opening blend. It was complex with layered flavours and very enjoyable.