Saturday, 1 November 2008 Anthony Rose
Best Wines of October 2008
Under twenty pounds
Château Saint Ferreol (France) Viognier 2006
Most attempts by winemakers around the world to emulate the great Viognier wines of Condrieu have failed miserably in my opinion. Even in Condrieu and other appellations of the northern Rhône, many Viognier producers cannot avoid a certain flabbiness that can make 'serious' Viognier wines tiring to taste, let alone drink. This Languedoc-Roussillon wine is an absolute star however, and I would put my neck on the line and say possibly the best Viognier I have tasted outside of Condrieu - indeed one of the best full stop. It is a fantastically aromatic example that moves this variety up to another plane. The nose has masses of herbs and downy peach skins, little floral notes, and lots of exotic tamarind and lychee. The palate has lovely grapefruity tang, with freshness allied to a little vanilla smoothness and weight. A great Viognier.
Simon Field MW October 2008
"A really exciting find; a Southern French Viognier that tastes just like a Condrieu, without, merci Dieu, the Condrieu price tag. Made in the enclave of Nizas, close to Montpellier and fermented and matured in a significant majority of oak, this is a terrific wine. The Viognier roll-call of dried apricot, peach kernel and honeysuckle is present and correct. The texture is suitably rich and hedonistic, but there is an impressive mineral grip at the back which effortlessly propels the wine into the highest quality echelons."
Jamie Goode MW February 2008
Domaine St Ferreol Viognier 2006 Vin de Pays d'Oc, France
Very impressed by tonight's wine, a Viognier from the South of France. It wasn't so long ago that Viognier was a rarity. Now it seems everyone is growing it, especially in the Languedoc. Growing Viognier is one thing; doing it well is another matter - but Anna and Jorje Maslakiewicz seem to have got it just right. Their success has come by skill and hard work: they identified the style they wanted to make, took great care in the vineyard and cellar, and then benchmarked their wine against other Viogniers until they were sure they'd got it right. The results are impressive.
Lovely stuff. Beautifully aromatic nose with tangerine peel, apricot, honey and vanilla notes. The palate has a lovely texture and great balance, with bright fruit, a hint of sweetness and a rich texture. Rich but not too rich, this is the qualitative equal of a good Condrieu. 90/100