Lourensford (South Africa) Viognier 2007
I visited Lourensford in the beautiful Somerset West region of the Cape a few years ago, whilst the relatively new operation was bringing its first wines on stream. It was an immensly impressive facility, slap bang next door to Vergelegen, one of South Africa's flagship estates. Composed of 95% Viognier and 5% Chardonnay, a portion of the wine is put into 300 litre Hungarian and French oak barrels for six months. The final blend contains 36% oak-aged wine. The nose leaps from the glass, with classic Viognier notes of apricot and ripe pear, and a background of creamy vanilla with a nuance of ginger and cinnamon. On the palate it is fairly full and rich with 14% alcohol, but the fruit stays pure and cool through the mid-palate, and there's just enough juicy orange acidity to leave this relatively crisp. A note too that this wine is suitable for vegetarians - which with national Vegetarian Week from May 19 - 25, is good timing. £6.99, Tesco.