Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: **** $$$ Radford Dale Viognier, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2009

By way of background, opening thoughts:  Here we have a somewhat unusual offering: a viognier from the notable Stellenbosch region of South Africa.  This viognier is part of the Radford Dale line, imported by Barclay's Wine, which provided the review sample from its online collection.

Original tasting and review : This is Radford Dale Viognier, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2009, finished at 13.% alcohol.

In the glass: This viognier is clear, pale gold in the glass.

On the nose: Poured cool and swirled vigorously, shows deep and layered fruit, with slicing stainless steel minerality.  There are oyster shells and light butterscotch framing the opposite ends of the aromatic spectrum.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold, sleek and layered.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact an almost effervescent initial mid-palate feel, layering light white flower fruit along with silty butterscotch and crackling stainless steel minerality.  In some ways, something for everyone, but better integrated than that sounds.  Light pepper and fruit carry to the finish, which lodges gently in the cheeks with subtle acids that build force for the next minute or so as the sip releases its final hints of flavor.

In summary: Overall, this multi-faceted experience rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Similar nose of fruit and minerality, but now with a distinct note of smoky oak.  The light smoke winds through the palate, which is consistent with yesterday's notes.  A white that holds up this well to air is likely to fare just fine in the cellar for awhile as well. 

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Radford Dale wines.

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