Right now, it’s the Italians who are producing some of the most exciting varietal spins on some perennial favourites such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir.
Local growers in the King Valley and McLaren Vale have been producing their own, very successful wines that, for those fortunate enough to tour Italy pre-pandemic, might evoke fond memories.
Sampling the white vernaccia will bring back memories of San Gimignano, Tuscany’s town of towers, while Venetian tourists may recall their visit with a bottle of prosecco from nearby Treviso. Those who have been to Sicily should find memories stirred by a red nero d’avola.
While it’s great to sample our worthy adaptations of whites such as fiano, vermentino and verdicchio – and the reds sangiovese, barbera and nebbiolo et alia – it’s worth tracking down the originals every now and then from local stockists.
Jim Barry Watervale Riesling 2018 ($18)
The Clare Valley winery founded by Jim and now expertly run by son Peter has long been among the best of the valley’s rieslings. In other words, it’s world class. Fine fruit flavours are enlivened by keen and refreshing acidity. Enjoy now but it will develop more richness in time.
Rabo de Galo ($10)
A very tasty Portuguese red blend from the Lisboa region. Plenty of grape flavours within a balanced structure and an absolute steal at the price.
Josef Chromy Pepik Pinot Noir 2018 ($20)
A charming young pinot from the Chromy winery near Launceston featuring engaging fruit aromas and a smooth, gentle palate. Ideally suited to autumn enjoyment.