Ascheri. Montalupa Viognier
This wine has a lovely rich mouthfeel, citrus and exotically tropical fruit are held around a mineral core. It is an exceptional wine.
When I joined the wine trade Viognier was the fabled white responsible for possibly the most enigmatic white of them all, Condrieu; a delicacy to be drunk young. Planting increased worldwide, with mixed success, this is no easy vine; when over-cropped the wines can be characterless and short-lived, when over-ripe they can be alcoholic and flabby. Though the best wines mature for ten years or more and have real depth and character.
Nearly all the fruit is from Montalupa, a very special vineyard just outside Bra, on steep terraces cut through sand and limestone. A small percentage are also taken from a second vineyard planted on a North-facing clay slope of Serralunga to provide more acidity and temper the rampant ripeness of Montalupa. The time and proportion of the wine that is fermented and aged in oak is down to the vintage requirements.