‘Suddenly, unbelievably, it’s really hard to get a taste of Shiraz that has not been adulterated to some extent by Viognier.
Notice the use of ‘adulterated’, used here by the South Australian wordsmith Phillip White, for that is what Viognier has been doing – fucking with our Shiraz. Call me a purist, call me a Luddite, but I just don’t like most Shiraz Viogniers. I can’t see why you would screw around with proven old vine Shiraz fruit of known quality with some young vine, we-still-haven’t-quite-got-our-head-around-it-or-even-understand-where-to-grow-it Viognier.
This Blue Pyrenees Shiraz Viognier is dense, dense red in colour, tending to maroon. On the nose it echoes the standard Shiraz, with the same minty regional (and vineyard) characters, but put in a more tarry and richer blueberry nose, with some musky violet Viognier sticking its head out near the fringes. On the palate it is full bodied but quite rounded in profile, with some intensely ripe Shiraz fruit in the prune and chunky red berry mould.
The Viognier here acts like the winemakers ‘black snake’ – tempering the rather brutal fruit with its musky softness, rendering this wine much more drinkable. But what it also does is ultimately hose down the style – its like a donut diet to an athlete: Everything gets softer and less well defined. Still, its a tasty red wine that will win over plenty of hearts and minds and I can understand why it has got such a good show record – the Shiraz power at its core is truly impressive. 17.5