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Santa Julia (Argentina) Viognier 2004
It is quite a while since I recommended a Viognier as Wine of the Week. For several years now Viognier has been touted as the "new Chardonnay", with its tendency to make very approachable, full-bodied and fruity wines. Yet a real Viognier "explosion" has not occured as yet. This example comes from Argentina's Santa Julia brand, owned by Famililia Zucccardi, who were the first Argentinian house to plant the variety more than a decade ago. The colour is a very pale lemon/green and the nose is immediately fruity, mixing waxy lemon notes with very ripe pear and a touch of pear drop confectionery. On the palate that smooth layering of ripe, juicy pear fruit dominates in a medium-bodied mouthful of lush fruit. But the ripeness and sweetness is nicely tempered by a dry citrus acidity that provides an edge through the mid-palate and keeps the finish very crisp and mouthwatering. This is a very good example of the well-tempered Viognier at an everday price. £4.99 Sainsbury's, Tesco.