Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2013
Once again, Villa Maria strikes gold by striking a great balance with this remarkable wine. It’s neither too ripe and rich, nor too fresh and green – just a lovely pure flow from which apricot and citrus flavours emerge. “It’s a bit of a Lou Reed – a walk on the wild side,” noted Steve Smith, in reference to the wine’s oily texture and overall generosity. Smith also supplied the food match: roast pork and crab apple jelly, served with a waldorf salad.
Top wine profile
One great vintage, two sites and two techniques all came together to create our top viognier. Fruit from a vineyard on the Omahu Gravels was fermented using wild yeasts and some oak influence to create a rich complex style. Grapes from another site on Highway 50 were handled in a more straightforward way to give purity of fruit. “Winemaker Nick Picone did a fantastic job with both parcels,” said Villa Maria group winemaker Alastair Maling MW. “I was with him when we blended the two and I have to say the result is fantastic. It’s not too rich, but there’s plenty of that viognier textural magic in the finished wine. We’re very proud of it.” Maling repeated what so many Hawke’s Bay winemakers have been saying about the 2013 vintage. “The planets were aligned that season – we had plenty of warmth, which is what viognier needs.” He also praised the virtues of viognier as a food wine, singling out pork and creamy seafood dishes.