90

2012 Yalumba Y Series Viognier, South-Eastern Australia

( £8.99 down to £6.74, 14.5%, Sainsbury's )

This is only the entry point Viognier from Yalumba, but winemaker Louisa Rose’s magic touch with the variety is gloriously apparent here, making this the best value example of the grape in the country right now. Aromatic and creamy, with hints of aniseed and white peach and a luscious, almost decadent finish. Yum, yum. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: 86-90, Australia, White, Viognier
90

2011 Planeta La Segreta Bianco, IGT Sicilia

( £9.25, 12.5%, Noel Young Wines )

An unusual Sicilian blend of mostly Grecancio with 30% Chardonnay, and 10% each of Fiano and Viognier, this confirms Planeta’s status as one of the most innovative producers on the island. It’s aromatic and winningly tropical, with hints of pineaapple and guava, zesty, pear and apple acidity and a fresh, dry, unoaked finish. The whole is greater than the sum of the wine’s parts. 

BuySimilar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Italy, White, Chardonnay, Other Whites, Viognier

Twelve Christmas wines under £10

by Tim Atkin
Bearing in mind that most of us are broke at this time of year, I’ve decided to keep things simple and affordable this Christmas, restricting my choices to just a...

The pick of Waitrose’s wine range

by Tim Atkin
RED 2010 Saumur, Les Nivières (£7.49, 13%) Essence of Loire Cabernet Franc, this unoaked red is a delight: soft and grassy with fresh acidity, no oak and pure blackcurrant and...
91

2008 AA Badenhorst Family White, Swartland

( £24, 14.5%, Swig )

After an impressive tenure at Rustenburg, Adi Badenhorst is doing some really exciting things at his new project in the Swartland. This fruit salad white blend of mostly Chenin Blanc with Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Verdelho, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc is a stunner. There’s a sheen of French oak, but what distinguishes the wine is its fruit depth and complexity: perfumed and blossom-scented with notes of honey, ginger spice, fresh apples, peach and a crunchy, refreshing finish. A producer to watch, given his track record.

BuySimilar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, South Africa, White, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Other Whites, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier

The cult of the winemaker

by Tim Atkin
The death of the Nouvelle Vague film director Claude Chabrol earlier this week has prompted a spate of national mourning in France, with president Sarkozy comparing the great man to...

Batting for Australia

by Tim Atkin
You know things are bad when the Aussies, normally the most chipper of nations, start grouching about their lot. “We’re stuffed, mate,” one of their number told me recently, having...