Australian wines have become pigeonholed into the image that they are all 'critter label' wines with huge fruit and little regional character. While most people recognize that, by the sheer size of the country, there HAS to be diversity, they still tend to associate all the wines under the same identity. In this Select Six we showcase not one but two wines that seek to break that identity. Yarra Valley is adjacent to Melbourne, and even though the city itself does get quite warm (those that watched the Australian Open tennis tournament will have an idea) the Valley has cooling influences from the nearby mountains, giving the region temperatures more parallel to Carneros or some of the coastal Californian growing areas, and like them features both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay quite favorably. Vibrant melon and white fruit aromas on the nose and palate that only features a little bit of oak barrel aging and buttery malolactic fermentation, allowing the natural richness of the juice to showcase the local character and complexity. Fans of the West Coast style of Chardonnay will certainly enjoy this, and at a great price to boot.
Regular Price $16.99, $14.44/case
2014 MEINKLANG BURGENLANDRED RED
Austrian wines are a favorite here, mostly the whites but with an increasing enjoyment of the reds as well. The more 'known' grape varieties are not as successful in their climate, so getting to know their red wine landscape requires tasting on their three most prevalent grapes; Blaufrankisch, St. Laurent, and the offspring of those two grapes called Zweigelt. Fortunately all three of those grapes are used here in this blend, so consider this one-stop shopping for your Austrian red wine education. Naturally dark and plummy fruit come out on the nose immediately, cool in character because of the climate but not lean at the three grapes get to their full ripeness easily. On the palate the texture is almost Pinot Noir-like in its silkiness, but the darker fruit still shows through giving the mouthfeel lots of richness that helps it hold up to relatively hearty dishes. A straightforward and easy drinking wine that doesn't set itself off as a fruit bomb but still has accessibility for most everyone to enjoy.
Regular Price $13.99, $11.89/case
NV ADRIANO ADAMI PROSECCO VALDOBBIADENE SUPERIORE BRUT 'BOSCO DI GICA'
With Valentine's Day approaching this month, a proper sparkling wine deserves to make the list for the Select Six. In recent years the Prosecco name and image became a bit diluted and bastardized by allowing the name to be attached to far too many wines of lower quality and a much broader growing area. In recent years the standards have improved, and the name Prosecco on the label stands for a much better assurance in quality. Valdobbiadene is considered the Grand Cru of Prosecco, with Superiore being one of the highest quality designation. Beautiful peach and white fruit aromas and great effervescence that stays lively well after being poured, and a juicy fullness on the palate that shows off plenty of flavor. The wine is definitely a Brut, but the natural weight and quality of the juice at the Superiore level takes any astringency out of the palate and finish, to the point where the carbonation gives the wine a stronger sense of dryness than the juice itself. A great wine to pop with any celebration, capable of being paired with light foods or enjoyed solo.
Regular Price $17.99, $15.29/case
2014 CANTINE VALPANE BARBERA DEL MONFERRATO 'ROSSO PIETRO'
In the Piedmont most of the winemaking reputation centers on the vineyards around Alba and Asti, as the most famous wines are situated there. Monferrato is their less famous neighbor located near the city of Alessandria, a little more rural and remote, but also home to some of the most unknown and exciting values in the region. This small winery only does a few thousand cases total between six wines, but thanks to famed importer Kermit Lynch we get to see a nice chunk of that production come over at a great price. With all the aging done in steel or concrete tanks before bottling, this is all about the approachable side of Barbera, full of spicy dried red fruits and touches of wild game in the background. The texture is surprisingly full for the price point, giving the palate lots of natural intensity from minimal filtration or fining, but is also approachable without any aggressive tannins. A wine that isn't built for long term cellaring and contemplation (there's enough of those already), which is fine because this drinks so well it will rarely survive the night anyway.
Regular Price $16.99, $14.44/case
2015 EDALO ZALEMA CONDADO DE HUELVA
One of our most unique wines to be featured in our Select Six lineup over the last year, but white wine drinkers will immediately find plenty of familiar characters to make it a part of the everyday lineup. This wine hails from the coastal region of Andelusia in southern Spain, which most people know for making Sherry and other fortified wines. The Condado de Huelva was at one point all about fortified wines, but the world market has forced/encouraged them to explore winemaking of all styles. One would think the warm arid region would be the source of extremely high fruit/low acidity wines; we did too, before tasting for the first time. And we would be SO wrong. The local Zalema grape does an admirable job holding on to its acidity, especially when planted in some of the more sheltered and cool valleys that see some protection from the heat by cooling coastal breezes. Bright citrus with notes of orange zest and lemon peel on the nose, similar in some ways to some of the white Rhone varieties like Grenache Blanc. On the palate the texture is surprisingly vibrant and alive with Mediterranean citrus and a light brininess, but more than enough natural richness to give the fruit some flesh. All this and the wine measures in at under 13%abv which gives it that much more of a refreshing drinkability. Mix this in to match with lighter seafood dishes or for a change of pace in back porch drinking when it gets warm again.
Regular Price $13.99, $11.89/case
2014 McPHERSON WINE CO. SHIRAZ/MOURVEDRE VICTORIA
The second part of our two wines in this Select Six to showcase the diversity of Australian wines, also from the region of Victoria, but this time on the Peninsula west of Melbourne and featuring the Rhone varieties the rest of Australia has become known for. As drinkers of Syrah/Shiraz from across the world will tell you, the climate where the grapes are grown can bring out vastly different characters and flavor profiles. The cooler sites make the wine less thick in texture and sweetness of fruit, while also bringing out a savory character that can get into an outright 'bacon fat' realm in extreme cases. Mourvedre goes through that as well, becoming more tannic and firm in texture in the cooler sites. On the Victoria Peninsula there is cooling influences from oceans on both sides, and the reds here tend to be much more Rhone-like than most people expect. Still rich and inky dark, but with more briary and savory fruit aromas out of the glass, and less sticky-sweet fruit on the palate. even the slight inclusion of Mourvedre brings out the earthy leather and peppery notes people rarely notice from Australian reds. A great value for grilled meats and hearty dishes of all kinds.
Regular Price $15.99, $13.59/case
These wines regularly sell for $95.94
For Select Six February they are $81.99
You Save $12. 95!
Select Six White (2 of each white) is $80.99
Select Six Red (2 of each red) is $82.99
Pick any three different bottles and get 10% off!