Top Varietals to Try this New Year
Looking for some New Year wine inspiration? Then check out our list of the top varietals to try in 2019. Make this your year to branch out on the grapevine and add some new favourites to your wine list.
Blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are one of the forgotten gems of Australian wine. Pushed to the background because of our love of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and of straight varietal wines, it is time to rediscover how good these wines are.
They offer the same intensity of flavour as Sauvignon Blanc, but with the extra benefit of subtle savouriness, which is the secret to why these are such mouth-watering wines.
Perfectly suited to warmer weather and alfresco entertaining, SSB and SBS wines are delicious at the beach with a fish burger or on the deck with a killer cheese plate.
Tasting Panel: “Don’t discount these wines because they are a blend. They are fashioned for a purpose and are better for being a blend. This will be your new summer go–to white.’
Believe the hype because Australia is making some of the best Chardonnay in the world. It rightly sits alongside Shiraz as one of our premier varieties and there is no other country in the world that can make value-for-money Chardonnay as well as us.
Whether you like your Chardonnay lean or rich, Australia has one you will love. If you swore off Chardonnay because it became too much in the past, then now is the time to dip your toe in the variety once again.
Utilise the differing shapes and weights of Chardonnay to your benefit to match a wide variety of occasions (picnics, dinners, afternoon drinks with nibbles) and foods (salmon, shellfish, creamy cheese, pasta and chicken)
Tasting Panel: ‘Chardonnay is a universal favourite amongst all members of the Tasting Panel and one that we think will continue its rise in quality and popularity throughout 2019.’
Australia has some of the oldest Grenache vines in the world, a unique asset that is only just starting to be appreciated fully by our wine loving public. The style of Grenache has changed or been reimagined, with elegance and fruit intensity being the status quo rather than the muscle and oak of the wines of the past. Called by many ‘the warm climate Pinot Noir’ – the love for Grenache is hitting fever pitch. It has become the darling of wine bars and restaurant because of its silky smooth texture and because it is so, so easy to drink.
This softness means that it is a red easily served at any occasion when you would normally reach for a white – think lunches or afternoons by the pool. Don’t be afraid to chill it either.
Alternatively, take it out with you to your favourite BYO Chinese or Mexican restaurant. The soft tannins won’t fight with the chilli and spice in the food.
Tasting Panel: ‘I love what we are doing with Grenache in Australia at the moment. We are making wines with such perfume and silkiness that they are impossible to not keep going back to.’
Touriga hails from Portugal where it is considered the number one red variety and its most famed role is in Portugal’s vintage ports. It is characterised by its heady bouquet (lots of violets), deep colour and its body and intensity.
In Australia, we have followed the lead of the Portuguese, not only using Touriga in our fortified wines, but also more commonly making it as a dry table wine. And the results have been very impressive! If you like deep coloured, aromatic and intense red wines, then this one is for you.
Serve it to friends who are Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon lovers and watch their faces light up.
In terms of food, it matches so well with any BBQ – not only meat, but also vegetables, so serve it at your next summer sausage sizzle.
Tasting Panel: ‘It’s so easy to see why we are falling for Touriga in this country. Amazing colour, fragrance and fruit all in one glass of wine. The future looks bright for this variety.’
Some of the most revered wines ever made in Australia’s relatively short history of winemaking were made from a blend of both Cabernet and Shiraz. It is the quintessential Australian blend – affectionately known as ‘Australian Claret’.
Because of our love of single varietal wines, like all blend, this one has fallen out of the spotlight. However, there has recently been a number of esteemed wineries (Yalumba, Hardy’s and Balnaves) that have released flagship wines celebrating the Claret blend.
Serve Cabernet Shiraz at your next dinner party when you want to impress. Give it some time in a decanter to show its best. Otherwise, serve it at your next BBQ party with stand up food like kebabs, burgers or hotdogs!
Tasting Panel: ‘There is no blend more symbolic of Australian wine than Cabernet Shiraz. For any lover of Cabernet or Shiraz, this should be next on your list.’
Get your hands on some great varietals here!