While I very much expect Maties to beat Ikeys as they duly did in last night’s Varsity Cup rugby match, I don’t expect to like Viognier. No, not even from Condrieu. Too much heady perfume, too much oak, too much alcohol.
It had been asked of me to review the range of Gabriëlskloof and given my general antipathy towards Viognier as a variety, I was therefore surprised when the 2009 from this new Bot River property proved its best wine by far.
The wine was fermented in a combination of 300-litre and 400-litre French oak barrels, 100% new and matured for six months. The wine has an expressive but not overblown nose of potpourri, peach and vanilla while the palate shows good flavour concentration and texture while tangy acidity lends balance. Abv 14.4%, RS 3.1g/l, TA 6.5g/l, pH 3.23.
The Gabriëlskloof winemaker is Kobie Viljoen, previously responsible for red wine at Spier, but this carefully considered Viognier suggests he might soon be better known for his whites. Price per bottle from the tasting room: R89.