Ridgeback Viognier 2018

By , 11 December 2019




“Restrained Viognier” is generally a contradiction in terms but the 2018 from Ridgeback in Agter Paarl just about manages to be that.  Matured for nine months in French, Hungarian and Russian oak barrels, of which 16% was new, the nose shows yellow peach, orange and pineapple plus a little waxy complexity. The palate, meanwhile, is pleasantly thick textured with sweet fruit and tangy acidity (alcohol: 13.5%). It’s well handled and not as overblown as other examples often are. Price: R130 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

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8 comment(s)

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    Madonna | 12 December 2019

    Papa don’t preach.

    Melvyn Minnaar | 11 December 2019

    Ever since Cathy Marshall made it way back, Ridgenack’s version echoed the original French with a certain delicate charm.

    Hennie C | 11 December 2019

    A serious question to you and other readers – how often do you drink, or WANT to drink Viognier? It certainly doesn’t come up in any top 10 choices for me. I recall years ago when the variety became more prevalent that it was touted as a great pairing wine for Asian food and was briefly fashionable to some extent. I tried it a few times back then, and have certainly tasted it as part of portfolios over the years, but I have never drunk a bottle from cork pop to empty thunk. Nowadays, in spite of the fact that there are really well-made ones available I actively avoid it, because there are just so many other varieties I’d rather drink.

      Duncan | 11 December 2019

      I didn’t have any strong feelings about viognier – except maybe that bad examples were unpleasantly plasticky – until I happened upon carefully made viogniers (The Foundry & Lismore come to mind) that were complex, fragrant and delicious.

      But I still rarely drink it (have I ever bought a bottle of the stuff?) because I infrequently spend more than R150 on whites and I’m unsure what to expect from cheaper viogniers.

      When I do splash out, it’s usually based on my sense of being, say, a chenin drinker – a sense which derives in no small part from everyday glasses of very pleasant R70 chenin.

      Christian Eedes | 11 December 2019

      Hi Hennie C, I have to say I find it makes for odd drinking. I dimly remember reading somewhere that it’s Madonna’s favourite variety which, if true, tells you everything you need to know…

        Neil | 12 December 2019

        I’ve been blessed in London with tasting the best of Rhone Condrieu. Truly world class wines which make our Viogniers pale significantly in comparison. If you ever get a similar opportunity……….woosh!!!

          AL | 14 December 2019

          Given the general style of Condrieu, I would rather drink a few glasses of Ridgeback, “World Class” or not

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