What to drink this week

Aus­tralian whites

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

The an­nual Aus­tralia Day tast­ing is a great op­por­tu­nity to take stock of this most dy­namic of wine coun­tries as the New Year starts rolling. This year, the trend that struck me most was the de­vel­op­ing love af­fair be­tween Aus­tralian wine grow­ers and Ital­ian grape va­ri­eties.

Why you should be drink­ing them

This re­la­tion­ship makes per­fect sense as the cli­mate in many of Aus­tralia’s best wine re­gions is closer to that of south­ern Italy than cen­tral or south-western France: pretty hot and dry in the sum­mer. South­ern Ital­ian white grapes seem to do es­pe­cially well in Aus­tralia and not only is this a wel­come break from Chardon­nay and Sau­vi­gnon Blanc (the lat­ter is rarely suc­cess­ful in Aus­tralia, in my view), but pos­si­bly the start of some­thing sig­nif­i­cant.

What to drink

I’m not sur­prised the south­ern Ital­ian white grape Fiano stands out—i’ve long been a Fiano fan, ad­mir­ing this va­ri­ety’s com­bi­na­tion of full-bod­ied vi­nos­ity, de­cent acid­ity and scent of dry grass and herbs. Fox Gor­don Princess Fiano 2015 (below, £17.95; www.leaand sande­man.co.uk) has a fas­ci­nat­ing aroma that re­minds me—in a good sense—of cheese straws, with lots of body and fresh acid­ity. Han­cock & Han­cock Mclaren Vale Fiano 2016 (£12.95; www.hal­i­fax winecom­pany.com) is in a dif­fer­ent style, cleaner and more modern, with flo­ral aro­mas. Lais­sez Faire Fran­k­land River Fiano 2014 (£23.95; www.bbr.com), from one of the ris­ing stars of Western Aus­tralia, Larry Cheru­bino, is richer and more com­plex, with grape­fruit, lime and lano­lin notes on the nose and a full, waxy flavour. Lovely stuff.

The cli­mate down un­der is just right for Ital­ian grapes, dis­cov­ers Harry Eyres

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