Rusty Mutt Catnip Viognier 2014

Rusty Mutt Catnip Viogner 2014
Region: McLaren Vale, SA.
Grape Variety: Viogner
Screw top
Price: $22 (members cheaper)
Tasted: September 2014
Best quaffed: Now until 2018
93+ Points.

Winter’s gone and spring has well and truly settled in. You might have noticed Wine of the Week has been on a fleeting hiatus with the launch of Sydney Scoop.

You might have also noticed a fair few Aussie Viogniers (pronounced vee-ohn-yay) in restaurants and on the shelves in recent months; although as a grape, it’s been growing here in a couple of spots for almost thirty years. It is a Rhone variety that moved over to Australia after it almost disappeared completely for a period in France.

Scott and I had a chat (over Pinot and Cabernet!) about Viognier and what he’s doing with Rusty Mutt wines. Aside from Rusty Mutt, Scott’s ‘day job’ is head winemaker at Geoff Merrill wines. Scott’s Rusty Mutt Shiraz is worth checking out too. I’m maybe most excited about a GSM in the pipeline, which I’m told will be out next year.

The Catnip Viognier smells exotic: rich, ripe, fruity, with lychee and orange blossom, both of which carry through to the palate. There’s a little spice, freshly cut apricot, a squeeze of lime and a nice acidic backbone; the wine’s somewhat cleaner than I was expecting. If you’re after a slick, oily number, look past this one.

It’s one for the sunshine, a Saturday afternoon without a worry. I’m wanting a snapper over coals – rubbed with lime, chilli, ginger – or a smoked whole chook, some spice on the outside, with a couple of generous tongs worth of homemade ‘slaw. Just be liberal with those herbs.

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For more details about the wine, the winemaker, and the wonderful labels, head to rustymutt.com.au

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