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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Viognier

Winner Details

New World: Viognier

2015: Gold 2 Silver 4 Bronze 2 Commended 4
2014: Gold 2 Silver 2 Bronze 2 Commended 3

Viognier is always a tricky grape variety in the Sommelier Wine Awards. Our tasters emphatically want something that ‘tastes like Viognier’. But not if that means raging alcohol levels or confected fruit – both of which have seen many wines kicked out in the past.

Last year, for the first time, we saw signs that the New World’s producers are beginning to get plenty of the grape’s signature exuberance, without tarty sugar or abv levels that might make a sherry blush. Not all managed it, to be sure, but enough did to suggest a variety that’s way more worth listing now than a few years ago.

From The Tasting Teams

‘Viognier is a bit of a difficult category. I’m never quite sure what I want until I try it and find something that I like!’ Charles Pashby-Taylor, Dabbous

‘Several relied on residual sugar rather than intensity.’ Richard Bampfield MW, team leader

‘I think it’s time to give Viognier a renaissance on wine lists. These wines would go with spicy food, smoked meat or fish, and even with various cheeses.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

Award winners

Found 12 wines

New World: Viognier

Luis Felipe Edwards, Reserva, Viognier 2014, Rapel Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

True consistency: Gold for the 2013 Reserva Viognier in 2014 and Gold for the 2014 vintage in 2015. Well done LFE! And who can resist? ‘Sweet, creamy peach, apricot and pear aromas, textured on the palate, bright with stony minerals,’ began team leader Jade Koch, while Caroline Brangé of 28°-50° Mayfair noted: ‘Lovely nose, apricot and white flowers.' Consultant sommelier Courtney Stebbings picked up notes of 'quince and vanilla-drizzled baked pear tart'. Match with seafood or stir-fried Asian recipes, spicy Chinese or Thai dishes.

£6.50 Matthew Clark

Bogle, Viognier 2013, Clarksburg, California, USA

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

'Vibrant', 'opulent', 'pretty' – just some of the descriptors that illustrate how Bogle Winery won not just Gold but a Critics' Choice to boot. ‘Light, fresh minerality showing floral notes and some white peach on the nose,’ began an impressed Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous, continuing: ‘Palate moves from magnolia through to apricot, quince and just a hint of banana, with a good mineral backbone.’ Match with dishes where herbs play a key role, such as roast chicken with tarragon.

£10.20 Enotria&Coe

Lismore, Viognier 2013, Greyton, Overberg, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Pure, spice-led nose that’s long and persistent, great power on the palate with a lengthy finish,’ said Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison, with team leader Jade Koch adding: ‘Sweetcorn and fennel, very warm and spritzy, with good spice and sherbety passion fruit character.’ 'Perfect with bacon wraps,' said fellow team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£15.66 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Deakin Estate, Viognier 2014, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

Fresh and good value, with ‘peardrops and lemon on the nose, fruity with good white pepper character on the palate and textbook warmth on the finish’, according to team leader Jade Koch, with Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous highlighting: ‘Mineral style with lithe apricot flavours.’

£6.45 Berkmann Wine Cellars

The Spee'wah, Crooked Mick, Viognier 2013, Murray Darling, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Vanilla and spice, with baked stone fruit, this has nice typicity at a good price,' said consultant sommelier Courtney Stebbings. 'Good peachy fruit, attractive on the nose, rounded and not too aggressive on the palate, a very complete example with good Viognier character,' said team leader Richard Bampfield MW.

£7.18 Bibendum

Accolade Wines, Flagstone, Word of Mouth, Viognier 2012, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘White pepper and blossom aromas, with a fleshy, spicy palate, good warmth and citrus fruit character,’ said team leader Jade Koch. ‘Almond and spice notes on the nose, clean, crisp, linear palate,’ added Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison.

£9.09 Matthew Clark

Darioush, Signature, Viognier 2013, Napa Valley, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

‘This is very well defined and powerful, yet a pure expression with an amazing lift of fruit, spritzy feel and long, creamy finish,’ said a happy Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison. ‘Dry and spicy, with candied lemon and juicy fruit,’ added team leader Jade Koch.

£24.68 Darioush

Cono Sur, Las Ondas, Reserva, Viognier 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh flowers, blossom and orange zest on the nose, with good body and some yeasty character on a warming finish,’ said Caroline Brangé of 28°-50° Mayfair, with La Petite Maison’s Andrea Fasan adding: ‘Crisp, lively and zingy, with great length and volume.’


Carmen, Viña Edmara, Viognier 2014, Maipo Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

Tabalí, Reserva, Viognier 2014, Limarí Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£6.35 Boutinot

Santa Ana, Reserve, Viognier 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£8.11 Enotria&Coe

Alvi's Drift, Viognier 2014, Worcester , South Africa

Commended medal winner

£5.74 Sogrape UK


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