With an already winning reputation for super-reliable reds, its often forgotten just how good Chilean whites are now becoming. And Viognier is a good choice for the Chileanification treatment as, in a similar way to the reds, you get ripeness that is never at odds to overall balance. And in fact this is one of the more thoughtful, restrained Viogniers on the market. Viognier of this sort will make a very versatile night in standby and food all-rounder. This is full bodied with notable floral and mineral notes and a lovely mouth-watering finish.
Viu Manent was founded in 1935 by Catalan immigrant Miguel Viu Garcia and his sons Agustin and Miguel Viu Manent. In 1966 they fulfilled a long held ambition and bought the Hacienda San Carlos de Cunaco estate in the Colchagua Valley from where they had long been sourcing their wines.
Viognier makes up 85% of the blend complemented by a closely guarded 'secret blend' of other white grape varieties grown on the estate. The grapes are whole bunch pressed to tank and the juice cold-settled for three days to remove solids. After fermentation the wine is aged on its lees for two months to add complexity and texture prior to bottling. No oak is used at any point.
Patricio Celedon, who assumed the position of Chief Winemaker at Vina Viu Manent on February 2010, is an agricultural Engineer with a speciality in viticulture and oenology from the Catholic University of Chile. His extensive experience includes having worked in well-know wineries in the US, Australia and Chile. Patricio worked at Vina San Pedro where he was responsible for the winery's high-end wines and he worked closely with international consultant Paul Hobbs.
Made with mostly Viognier grapes from Chile's Colchagua Valley (the "secret" being the identity of the remaining 15 per cent), this is an ideal wine for a summer lunch, indoors or outdoors, if there is, say, salmon or sea bass on the table. Intense citrus fruit and floral aromas pave the way to a real mineral freshness on the palate, with tastes of lemon, peach, apricot and a long, persistent finish.