As I mentioned on my blog (29th May, 2011), on Friday I was to pick up something for dinner on the way home from work, but my husband emailed me to say he had to go to a meeting and he would have dinner there. I emailed him back to say I would dine on lobster and Le Montrachet. In reality it was fresh salmon and two wines from Seresin Estate that had arrived for review. One of them was a white wine blend, Chiaroscuro, which I reviewed in that blog entry. The other was viogner.
The Chiaroscuro blend of chardonnay, pinot gris and riesling was first in the line-up of two and I was mightily impressed. But the viognier - whoa! I just about dropped my pencil, it was so was exciting.
Seresin Marlborough Viognier 2009 has a beguiling and ethereal aroma of apricot with a subtle nuance of freshly baked bread. Following through to the full-bodied palate there's a softness to the texture and flavours of apricot with an infusion of five spice and orange blossom emerging as this beautiful, seamless wine lingers.
Tasting the wines before the meal, I decided to rub five spice powder into the salmon skin then sizzled it skin side down in butter. The end result was the salmon was cooked the way I like it – crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and soft and pink in the middle. While the salmon didn't really do anything for the Chiaroscuro, the match with the viognier was sensational. The wine cut through the oiliness of the salmon with the five spice nuances in the wine complementing the five spice crispy skin. It was like a match made in heaven.
The fact sheet for this wine says the grapes were grown the clay-rich hillside Raupo Creek vineyard in the Omaka Valley and cropped at very low levels. Hand-picked and sorted, whole-bunch pressed and settled overnight before being sent straight to one-year-old French Oak puncheons, where it naturally fermented and remained on yeast lees for fourteen months. Alcohol is 14% and although bone dry, the acidity is soft and low and the overall impression is seamless.
The wines went into the fridge overnight so they could be tasted chilled the next day. Still the viognier had the edge, both in the tasting and with that night's food match – chicken breasts with a fresh herb and mushroom stuffing.
You can buy this outstanding Viognier online at www.seresin.co.nz. It costs $55 a bottle.
© Sue Courtney
29 May 2011