(2020) Always a value for money favourite, the recipe for this entry-level Viognier in the Yalumba portfolio still involves 100% wild yeast fermentation, three months of lees ageing, but not oak. Very aromatic and pure, it has a lovely soft downy peach and floral character, fresh but soft and summery. In the mouth there's just a hint of that nice phenolic grip, a tang of citrussy, orangy acidity and a fresh but easy-drinking finish. A lot of wine for the money really.
(2020) Yalumba released their first organic Viognier in 2006, and 14 years on this lovely wine comes from organic vineyards to the north of Adelaide, and is made with minimal intervention. There's certainly a more gastronomic, savoury and saline character here compared to the Y Series. Juicy and well-fruited, with a lovely sense of purity and the merest touch of RS just broadening the feel of the dry finish.
(2018) From the Fleurieu Peninsula of McLaren Vale, very close to the ocean and city of Adelaide, this is a very good example of the new Australian Chardonnay: no sign here of that heavy vanilla oak or blockbuster ripeness: with 12.5% alcohol this is rich, rounded and crammed with sweet fruit that takes centre stage. There is a touch of that flinty character that makes Chablis so appealing, but then the juicy, sweet orange and peach fruit.
(2017) Another classic, a bone-dry Riesling from the Clare Valley, there's a nice hint of the floral and beeswax side of Riesling to the otherwise fresh and limey fruit, even a hint of exotic lychee. Rippling with salt and chalk acidity, there is nevertheless plenty of lime, sliced apple and juicy Mandarin orange fruit to balance, in a long, shimmering wine.
(2012) Proof positive that Australian Chardonnay has changed, in the shape of this pristine, 12.5% alcohol wine from the Wirra Wirra team in McLaren Vale. The nose is all about apple and citrus (orange more than lemon probably) with a subtle melon and gently tropical tone beneath. On the palate a limey streak of fruit and acidity keeps the picture taut and fresh, though it is a wine with a bit of texture and nutty breadth too. The 12.5% was achieved purely by early picking of the grapes apparently, and matching up with some smoked salmon or a any seafood dish would work really well.
(2012) St Hallett's blend of 60% Semillon, 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Riesling is always a winner combining exotic, ripe-fruited drinkability and real zing. Here at its bargain price it is a Spring and Summer banker. Punchy, herb-tinged stuff, with some lime cordial and a hint of waxiness, the Riesling apparent on the nose. The palate has delicious mouth-filling fruit, just loads of flavour and texture, the pithy lemon dryness of the finish adding lovely balance.
(2012) The Adelaide Hills has become a hotspot for cooler climate styles of Chardonnay in South Australia, the little bit of elevation dropping a few degrees of average temperature from vineyards on the flat. This wine is lightly oaked, and offers nicely vanilla and brioche-licked aromas of fresh pear and apple, with just hints of more tropical fruit beneath. On the palate the wine delivers full fruit sweetness: with 14.5% alcohol this is short on neither texture or impact, the oatmeal and custard richness of the oak and texture sitting very nicely beneath the crisp fruit and elegant apple acidity of the finish. Lovely with some pork and cinnamon-apple stuffing.
(2011) 12.5%. Clare Valley. A gentle, waxed lemon nose has a little hint of something mineral and salty too, teetering on the paraffin character that some love more than others in their Riesling. On the palate this is dry, with a lovely sense of smooth, limpid clarity to the lemon and apple fruit and acidity. Quite a full texture, the pithy, drying finish keeping it sharp.
(2010) An immediate richness of honey, oatmeal and dried apricot fruit floods the nose of this unoaked Viognier, fermented with wild yeast and aged on its lees. There's a touch of smoky spice too in an exotic and alluring profile. On the palate the very ripe fruit has a biting tang of bitter orange over that apricot flavour, a lemongrass zest and crunch and a phenolic grip giving this layers of concentration and structure. It is a big, attention-grabbing wine this, perhaps let down by a touch too much alcohol and a slight astringency, but if you like this style it is really very good.