I hate Viognier – #SaveSAwine

Lismore Estate Reserve Viognier 2018 is the next in my series of #SaveSAwine reviews. You will recall that the South African wine trade is at threat because of the complete prohibition of alcohol sales by the South African government. In order to #SaveSAwine we should all drink as much as possible to encourage exports from there. You can read more about why we should buy South African wine in order to #SaveSAwine here.

I promised to review good South African wine in order to guide people toward good South African wines they will be happy to buy and drink with enjoyment, therefore having a good time at the same time as pursuing the noble aim to #SaveSAwine. This presents a problem with this wine.

In 27 years of (legally) buying wine, I have had one Viognier I have enjoyed (a late harvest Condrieu in the early 90s). This is perhaps the lowest hit rate I have had with any grape variety.

Viognier is always thin, weedy, insipid and falls apart within 18 months. This does not bode well for this wine. It may be that my almost invariably reliable friend Keith says that the 2017 of this is perhaps his favourite South African wine; this is Viognier, <em>man</em>, it simply cannot be that nice!

Alas, I have popped the bottle now, and I am going to have to taste it as I cannot return it from whence I foolishly purchased it. Please join me as I impugn this, no doubt, monstrosity.

Lismore Estate Reserve Viognier 2018Estate Reserve Viognier 2018, Lismore

This does have hints of the honeysuckle fragrance one normally find of Viognier, But there is more… There is more fruit! There is power! There is quality! Once again I am stunned buy South African wine – this Lismore Estate Reserve Viognier has provided me with my second good Viognier experience in quarter of a century!

There is a lot of pear fruit, stone fruits and an obvious seasoning of oak. I do not mind the oak because (I cannot believe I am about to say this), the Lismore Estate Reserve Viognier has what it needs, where it needs it in order to mature gracefully, for 5-8 years I would suggest, and the oak will probably integrate within a few years.

The wine is broad and confidently structured, I would have guessed as a really good Roussanne , but it has enough acidity to keep it perky, energetic and vibrant. The Lismore Estate Reserve Viognier is a real mouthful, but never leaves you with the impression that it is fat or flabby. This impression is enhanced by a reasonable 13.5% alcohol-level in the wine. It is no blowsy, booze-monster.

The finish is long, with plenty of pear and stone fruit spinning with a mineral tang in a vortex of dimensionality. It charms, delights and excites in a rich, powerful and persistently flavourful package of loveliness.

So, I am pleased to report, there was no problem at all! This wine was undoubtedly delicious and I can recommend it to you, my readers, safe in the knowledge that, should you buy some, you will not fail to enjoy it. I can, hand on heart, say this is a delightful wine to buy to help #SaveSAwine. Lismore have made a Viognier that is worth the effort to buy more than once every quarter of a century. #SaveSAwine.

Buy from Handford.