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Sunday, 12 December 2010

Westend Estate The Boxer Roussanne Viognier, Riverina 2009 - Laithwaite's

This Aussie white from Riverina was sent to me by Laithwaites under their 100% satisfaction guarantee scheme after I emailed them mentioning a couple of wines from both a Mystery and a Discovery case (now called 4 Seasons) that I'd thought were a bit sub-standard or just not to my taste.

Australia does not really do terroir in a big way - the focus is more on expression of grape variety. However, for those interested, the winery is based in Griffith, part of Riverina, itself part of New South Wales.

In style it's a ripe, New-World oaky white, made from a blend of Roussanne and Viognier; both grapes originate in the Rhône in France and whilst Viognier has a reputation name as a stand-alone variety, Roussanne is still a lesser-known blending wine..

The Laithwaites tasting note starts by suggesting that the climate in Griffith is similar to the Rhône Valley with cold winters and baking hot summers before moving on to a series of school-boy boxing puns.

When you name a wine "The Boxer", there's little suggestion that you are going for subtlety and clearly that's not the aim here. What you do get is ripe fruit, rich oak and a bit more besides. There's not much classy restraint, but there is actually a decent amount of complexity and balance - the ripeness has a crisp acidity running through it, there's plenty of body, hints of spice and the oak is both buttery and toasty.

It's an easy-drinking wine with plenty of up-front personality; enjoyable but not too dumbed-down, it works either as a quaffer or with food. With all that richness, the foods needs to have a hint of sweetness so go for slow-roast chicken, fruity, slightly sweet cheeses such as an aged Cheddar or a Manchego or my favourite match a Thai green curry with coconut.

At £7.99 (plus delivery), it's sort-of reasonable value, too.

Provided by Laithwaites under their 100% satisfaction guarantee.


Laithwaites - http://www.laithwaites.co.uk/

Westend Estate - http://www.westendestate.com.au/index.php

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