Wines of the month: Aussie rules! Diana Thompson’s top picks

April 2020 wines
Diana Thompson
Diana Thompson

Bring in the sunshine with delicious Australian wines

The bushfires of Australia seem a distant memory compared to our current challenges. However, the good news is the wines of Australia will keep coming, so here’s a bit of sunshine for you to enjoy. Please note all these independent stockists are offering deliveries so do support them.

Jansz Premium Cuvee NV, Tasmania, Australia, £17.99, Waitrose
With a slightly cooler climate than mainland Australia, Tasmanian grapes ripen more slowly, thus gaining good fruit characters but retaining the crucial acidity for sparkling wine. Jansz is one of their best-known sparkling wines, made with the same bottle-fermented method as Champagne. This multi-award-winning fizz is deliciously refreshing, and with its subtle nutty and creamy nougat characters it goes well with food.

McPherson Wines “Bella Luna” Fiano Central Victoria 2018, £10.99, Great Grog Wines
Fiano is a fabulous white grape variety with its roots deeply ensconced in Southern Italy. However, with climate change we’re seeing Fiano popping up in Australia. These wines are classically crisp and refreshing with hints of ripe peach. Offering all the classic Fiano characteristics, Bella Luna can stand up to richer dishes.

Alkoomi Frankland River Cabernet Franc, Western Australia 2016, £12.00, Villeneuve Wines
Cabernet Franc is the third red grape variety in Bordeaux, yet a bit of an unsung hero alongside Cabernet
Sauvignon and Merlot. This wine has all the fabulous deep and rich Aussie forest fruit along with hints of vanilla from being fermented and aged in oak, and a delicious savoury character which is typical of Cabernet Franc. Be warned, it’s deliciously moreish!

Robert Oatley, Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon, Signature Series 2018, £13.50, Luvians, Ellie’s Cellar, Aitken Wines
A fabulous Aussie red made in more of a French style, so it’s quite refined and elegant yet with generous ripe fruit thanks to the Australian sunshine. The nose on this wine is superb and if I didn’t know it would taste so delicious, I could quite happily keep my nose in the glass for hours! However, on the palate it offers lovely developed rich blackcurrant characters with soft tannins and a welcoming long finish.

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