Gilligan’s second release of this wine, and I note last year’s model was more Marsanne-heavy, at least judging by the order in which the varieties are listed on the label. I enjoyed the 2009, though felt it could have used an extra ounce of intensity, considering its fullness of body and luxe vibe. This wine, happily, has noticeably more fruit flavour, bringing the style’s elements into greater balance.
I thought this was a Viognier when I first smelled it, but the richness that presents is less apricot and more honeysuckle. Yes, this is a vulgar French perfume of a wine, and all the more glorious for it; I like wines that don’t try to be something they aren’t. And this is about as far from Riesling (on the one hand) and Chardonnay (on the other) as you can get. It’s redolent of white flowers, peach stones and fresh laundry with just a hint of something more challenging, savoury and feral underneath.
The palate has good impact due, at first, to a thickness of texture that smacks the mouth and winds its way onto the tongue. Flavour follows soon after, with surprisingly delicate accords of stonefruit and florals. There’s plenty of flavour on offer. The risk with richer wines styles such as this is that they become cloying, but I’m pleased to note there’s a nice thrust of phenolic texture (and decent acid) that underlines the entire palate, roughing up the mouthfeel and freshening the flavour profile. Good continuity through the after palate and a very long finish, hinting at some alcohol heat but never quite crossing over to the other side.
Not a bad wine after only two goes. Really good value for money.