March 2014 |

Icon Wines: Review of 2009 Ava (Viognier Roussanne)

Change is difficult but adaptation is essential. That must have been the motto the vineyard staff chanted to themselves as they ripped-up Pinot Noir vines and planted Rhone Valley varietals in response to a major change in direction at Le Vieux Pin. The winery decided that their Pinot Noir vines underperformed too often and that ultimately their Black Sage Bench vineyard was better suited to varietals like Syrah and Viognier. Thus, the extraordinary measure to reboot with Rhone Valley inspired wines was undertaken.

This 2009 Viognier-Roussanne (90-10 split) is the result of this change and adaptation. The inaugural release is impressive, to say the least and shows great promise for future vintages. The key to this wine is the lush tropical fruit character and rich, chewy texture which is very well balanced by crisp, but not tart acidity. The nose is delicate and very complex while the dry palate offers a long finish with lingering tropical fruit flavours. Enjoy now or cellar for 2-3 years for further development. Drink 2011-2013.