Forget about Chardonnay and Riesling for a few days and enjoy Australian winemakers' uncanny ability to get the best from myriad white grape varieties, says Matthew Jukes...
Keen wine lovers have known this for years, but less adventurous oenophiles seem to have only recently cottoned onto the fact that Burgundy and its Chardonnays and serious German or Austrian dry Riesling cannot compete with the Australian icon brands in terms of value for money and, in many cases, longevity.
I would add dry Semillon to this list as a style of wine which Australia has made its own. While I love Bordeaux Blanc, the uniquely fascinating Hunter Valley style of Semillon, made without the oak barrel component (so beloved of the Bordelais) and which ages like clockwork for often two decades or more is spine-tinglingly attractive.
But what of Australia’s other styles of white and sparkling wines?
For the past 15 years, I have been compiling a report of my favourites: ‘100 Best Australian Wines’.
For the first time, I’m sharing with Decanter my entries from the ‘other whites’ sections of this report in the hope that readers might feel compelled to whet their palates with some of the more diverse wines made Down Under.