Cellar notes: The woman of the year

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Maybe the International Wine & Spirit Competition isn't as fuddy-duddy as I recently suggested, because last week it did the decent thing and made Yalumba's senior winemaker, Louisa Rose (no relation), the 2004 Woman in Wine.

Maybe the International Wine & Spirit Competition isn't as fuddy-duddy as I recently suggested, because last week it did the decent thing and made Yalumba's senior winemaker, Louisa Rose (no relation), the 2004 Woman in Wine. Louisa has been steeped in the stuff with the Australian family company for the last 10 years, where she makes a speciality of the northern Rhône grape, viognier.

Louisa's 2003 Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier, £9.99, Oddbins, Waitrose, Sainsbury's (selected stores), is a powerful, floral-scented wine, partially fermented in oak, with rich yet refreshing apricot-like fruit on the palate, an exotic dry white whose peachy opulence retains good fresh acidity to match Asian dishes.

Aiming to match the Rhône's Condrieu for power, the 2002 Yalumba The Virgilius Eden Valley Viognier is her selection of the best viognier grapes, a jasmine and honseysuckle-scented dry white whose subdued oak undertones add polish to the wine's opulently peachy fruit. This powerful dry white can be found at around £19.99, Selfridges, Vin du Van (mail order), Waitrose (Canary Wharf, Kingston & Belgravia), Majestic (Fine Wine), Harrods and Handford (020-7589 6113).

If Aussie riesling is more to your taste, the 2003 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling, £8.99-£9.49, Sainsbury's, Thresher, Wine Rack, is on better form than ever, a dry aromatic white with refreshing spritz and classic riesling fruitiness, making it the ideal match for Asian food. For more information about Louisa Rose and Yalumba visit www.yalumba.com

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