Wine n’ About | New wave Australian wines to try
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New wave Australian wines to try

One of the best things about Australia is the number of winemakers keen to experiment with new styles and lesser known grape varieties to produce something completely different. Decanter’s tasting team recommends five to try…

Experimental Australian wines:

Wines chosen by Decanter’s James Button


Cullen Wines, Mangan East Block 2013

Cullen Wines, Mangan East Block, Margaret River, Western Australia 2013

Wine lovers will know Vanya Cullen’s Diana Madeleine Bordeaux blend, named after her mother, but here’s something a little different. This 58% Petit Verdot, 48% Malbec comes from the next-door vineyard owned by Cullen’s brother Rick and sister-in-law Bettina Mangan and is also farmed biodynamically. The fruit is basket-pressed before spending 17 months in French oak, and although it needs time for the sweet oak to integrate, it shows great density, with fine, grippy tannins, a silky mouthfeel and vibrant flavours of mulberry, violets, ink and cocoa. (POINTS 93)

La Violetta, Yé-Yé Blanc 2015

La Violetta, Yé-Yé Blanc, Great Southern, Western Australia 2015

Apparently winemaker Andrew Hoadley named this wine after what you’d exclaim joyfully after one sip. Fronted by Riesling’s soft yet tart juiciness and bright acidity, there’s lovely mounthfeel, florality and minerality from the Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Vermentino. Part of the blend is fermented on its skins using wild yeast in old oak, which gives great roundness and texture too. (POINTS 91)

Mazza, Bastardo Rosé 2014

Mazza, Bastardo Rosé, Geographe, Western Australia 2014

Forget the ugly name, this is a beautiful wine! Traditionally used in Port blends, the Douro variety of Bastardo has very low tannins making it perfect for rosé. David Mazza, who specialises in Iberian varieties, thinks this is the only example in the world. There’s a hint of earthy, savoury rusticity that adds complexity to the elegant herbal, strawberry and cranberry fruit here, which is lifted by zippy citrus acidity. The weight and texture makes it a perfect wine for the table, but you could happily enjoy it on its own and dream of summer. (POINTS 91)

d’Arenberg, The Cenosilicaphobic Cat 2010

d’Arenberg, The Cenosilicaphobic Cat, McLaren Vale 2010

This is a blend of extremely tannic Sagrantino and light, aromatic Cinsault, which is matured in a mixture of old French and American oak for up to 21 months. Complex and intriguing, it has a powerful, dried fruit and baked strawberry character accompanied by fine-grained, grippy tannins and a lifted, minty finish. (POINTS 89)

The Rude Mechanicals, Suck-It-And-See Frizzante 2016

The Rude Mechanicals, Suck-It-And-See Frizzante, Barossa Valley 2016

At only 7%, this intriguing blend made in a frizzante (gently sparkling) style is something a bit different. With an extremely tropical nose and a palate that has some sweetness and a light fizz, it isn’t too far from Moscato d’Asti in style. It is a bit drier on the finish though, and will make a good, fun aperitif drink or refreshing sipper. (POINTS 88)

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