White Australia

This article first appeared in Vintage Cellars Cellar Press 95
Tyson Stelzer

Summer is an exciting season on the drinking calendar. There’s a whole new vintage of Aussie whites on the shelves and the perfect weather to enjoy them. The great news is that whites are improving more rapidly than any other wine style in Australia. And 2008 was an outstanding vintage for whites across most regions.

Sauvignon blanc holds its “number one” position on the charts (still!) and it’s exciting to see Aussies now seriously competing with the Kiwis. The bargain of the year award goes to riesling – world class wines at miniscule prices.

Chardonnay scores the “most improved” gong for its lithe figure and elegant personality, having fully worked off its chubby image. The “peoples’ choice” award goes to Pinot Gris, while the reliable Semillon takes out the prize for longest service to the industry.

Even the new kids on the block have learnt that delicacy and texture are more important than overt flavour – look out for Gewürztraminer, Verdelho, Fiano, Albariño, Arneis, Viognier and Marsanne from cooler regions.

To get the most out of your whites this summer, don’t drink them too cold or they’ll taste weak and flavourless. Pull a bottle out of the fridge about half an hour before you pour it.