2008 Rutherglen Estates Renaissance VRM
It is very exciting to see some of my favourite traditional varietals being given new life and just as exciting to see Rutherglen striding forward in areas other than fortifieds and Durif. To me this region, and the neighbourly King Valley, are hot beds for assortment and continue to gain respect for producing good value wines that take you on a journey away from the norm.
Rutherglen Estates have appropriately named this wine 'Renaissance'; as a Viognier -- Roussanne -- Marsanne blend of this calibre will change the way you look at the showy leaders of the pack, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, forever.
Although, it is decidedly creamy, rounded and silky with generous intensity in its lemon-delicious and ripe stone fruit charms, it is mouth filling without being Rubenesque in plush fleshiness. Perhaps the flinty mineral backbone gives the lady her poise.
Drink the VRM now or cellar it - these classic Rhone varietals do have the ability to gracefully age. If you choose to drink it now, do so lightly chilled, with a BBQ Butterflied Spatchcock accompanied by a nutty roast pumpkin, feta and pine nut rocket salad.
Distribution: Cellar Door & selected wine shops
© Lisa Johnston February 2011
Wine Diva Wines of the Month, March 2011