d'Arenberg are proud to state (on the back label) that they were the first to release a McLaren Vale viognier, referring to the grape as a 'Great White Hope'. Their Adelaide Hills/McLaren Vale sourced Last Ditch Viognier underwent some gentle oak treatment in 2008, with 6-9 months of older (5-20 years) oak maturation in French (mostly) and American oak barriques following barrel fermentation.
Pale straw/yellow, this fragrant viognier reveals a bright expression of peach, melon and lemon drop aromas with a deft touch of creamy oak. Smooth and delicious; a more refined varietal profile of creamy nectarine, melon and citrus fruits grace the palate, with a restrained undercarriage of peach fuzz emerging without unpleasant tartness or phenolics, towards a clean, nutty and gently spiced finish. It displays true balance and delightful winemaker inputs, which allow good length of fruit and chalky acids to complete an appetising package.
ü+ The 2008 is definitely the best wine I've had under this label. It's tighter, more refined, textured and balanced than previous releases, and it appears d'Arenberg, like others in the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale (or the rest of Australia for that matter) are benefiting considerably from increased experience with viognier. Most importantly this is delicious. Drink to 2012.