Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Enjoy a Taste of Spring

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Enjoy a Taste of Spring

Article excerpt


THERE was a time when grapes were linked to regions and rarely found beyond their home patch.

But the global nature of today's wine industry means grape varieties have been transplanted well beyond their native European lands for decades, if not centuries. is began as a matter of necessity as European settlers uprooted themselves and their vines to hitherto grapeless lands.

But now it's driven by economics and consumer fads that have seen many local vines ripped up in favour of more fashionable (and marketable) 'international' varieties such as chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and pinot grigio.

However, some lesser known European varieties have found niches within the New World and the Wine Society has a few crackers in its spring wine collection.

First up is an Aussie blend of shiraz and the highlytannic Italian red variety sagrantino. It's so obscure that it's barely planted in its own country but a few Australian makers have experimented with the grape and Andrew Peace's Australian Felix Shiraz Sagrantino 2013 from Swan Hill, Victoria is a belter that scooped an International Wine Challenge (IWC) bronze.

La Salvaje Moncayo e nose is packed with strawberry and red cherry aromas with a dusting of ground cloves. ere's more spice on a rich red fruit palate backed up by chewy tannins. It's great value at PS7.95 a bottle.

e white grape chasselas is grown across Europe and particularly Switzerland where it's considered the perfect match for cheesy fondue. Historic Alsace producer Keuntz-Bas mixes a splash of chasselas with auxerrois, muscat and 60 per cent sylvaner to produce a delightfully fragrant white. Its KB 2012 is delicately -avoured yet packed with -oral aromas and hints of honey and is PS8.50 from the world's oldest wine club.

Top Portuguese white grape verdelho is well travelled outside the Iberian Peninsula and has a sizeable presence in Australia.

Bleasdale Langhorne Crossing Verdelho Sauvignon Blanc 2014 is a great expression of the grape in the capable hands of an award-winning producer with a longstanding relationship with the Wine Society. …

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