Yalumba Family Wineries – 2009 Shiraz Viognier
South Australia
$15.29 – Superstore

Well…now THIS was an interesting wine! As I was shopping for wines for our dinner last Saturday, I don’t necessarily always pick up wines to serve that night.  If I have the time, I’ll take it to browse the aisles and try to find something I’ve never tried before.  So here I was looking at this wine thinking:  “this is a red grape (shiraz) and a white grape (viognier) blended together.  Is that legal?!?”  I didn’t know if it was a red wine, a white wine…or somewhere in the middle! I held it up to the light, but the bottle was giving nothing away! And maybe, just maybe…that’s why I bought it.  I was so caught up by the “weirdness” of it.

To be honest, I was a bit dumbfounded by this wine.  Do I chill it?  Do I leave it at room temp?  I did both.  I chilled it, took it out, poured an ounce, tasted it, then left it.  I’ll tell you…it wasn’t very good!  It wasn’t a rich red like those good Cabs out there, and it had that signature watery edge like a lot of whites do.  But on my nose!  I got stewed prunes, pickle juice and green beans!  Where was the crushed raspberries, violets and Turkish delight that was promised to me on the bottle?  I wasn’t sure I wanted to put it in my mouth!  But, in keeping with “tasting”, I did… Let me sum up my tasting in a single phrase:  wet dog. For a wine coming from Australia’s oldest family owned winery, I expected more.

I re-visited later that evening with some melba toast crackers.  It somewhat redeemed itself at room temperature, although, it still had mushrooms and wet leaves on my palate.  Tannins and acidity were both low.

I wasn’t about to give up on this wine, so I tasted it this evening…with my food. Farmers sausage, and penne with dill sauce.  So that’s where all that fruit was hiding!  No more wet dog!  Just raspberries and blueberries with a dash of cinnamon! Yes, it was very complementary with my food, and thoroughly enjoyable.  Finish was smoothe and long. After all that, I did find some redeeming qualities and I would purchase it again. REALLY!!

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