Australia is a huge country, just a bit smaller than the United States. So Australian wine generalizations are generally lacking in nuance. Australia has almost as many growing regions as the United States and more than 1,100 wineries across the vast country. Its whites run the gamut in style, quality, and price. And like the reds, each grape has a specific region in which it grows best. It’s safe to step away from the funny animal label and try some other Australian wines that are true to grape varietals and show off what they do down under.
This month selections are available at Haskell’s nine metro locations.
Banrock Station Riesling 2007 (Southeast Australia), $6.99
Lemon and lime, crisp and clean—this wine is pleasant, easy to drink, and affordable. It’s the perfect wine for after work on a warm summer day or with a light dinner when it’s just too hot.
Torbreck White Blend 2004 (Barossa Valley), $36.99
40% viognier, 40% marsanne, 20% roussanne. Lush and full of style with a huge finish. It’s complex, like some of the white Rhones at this price, but with more tropical fruit. It would go well as a substitute for big California chardonnay, and pairs perfectly with halibut and a fresh fruit salsa.
Wishing Tree Unoaked Chardonnay 2006 (Western Australia), $11.99
It’s chardonnay with no oak and just a hint of butteriness. The floral nose and big Granny Smith apple flavor scream summer. Light enough to drink on its own or with a fresh garden salad.
Stump Jump White Blend 2004 (McLaren Vale), $12.99
42% reisling, 40% sauvignon blanc, 18% marsanne. This is a dry white that jumps from country to country to figure out its style. The sauvignon blanc shows off the tropical style of New Zealand, the riesling offers a Germanic honey nose and tartness on the tongue, and the marsanne is minerally and chalky like a Rhone white. (Vintage no longer available; 2006 in stock.)
Penny’s Hill Red Dot 2004 (McLaren Vale), $19.99
95% chardonnay, 5% viognier. Pears, peaches, and cream, all of which I like, so dive in. It’s medium-bodied with a nice finish, and balanced from beginning to end. Pair with a grilled chicken breast with lemon, thyme, and asparagus for a great summer dinner.
Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes winetastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public.