10 climate change-proof Australian wines we need to try

From left: Chalmers Felicitas 2016; Jones Winery & Vineyard Fiano 2017; Chalmers Rosato 2018; Yarra Yering Dry Red No.3 ...
From left: Chalmers Felicitas 2016; Jones Winery & Vineyard Fiano 2017; Chalmers Rosato 2018; Yarra Yering Dry Red No.3 2017; S. C. Pannell Tempranillo Touriga 2017. 

Any list of the new and unusual grape varieties better suited to our changing weather can read like an essay in obscurity. But some Australian winemakers have been brave enough to grow them anyway. There are even varieties like vermentino, fiano, touriga, nero d'avola and graciano that are slowly entering the table wine mainstream. Here is a selection of Australian wines that show just how fascinating some of these grapes can be.

Chalmers Felicitas 2016

$40-$43

Score 90

An unusual sparkler made from fiano and lees aged for 27 months. Pale and fragrant, with aromas of figs, stone fruit and nougat, it's appealing, clean and appetising. A foaming mouthfeel and soft mid-palate are enhanced by a crisp tang and a light drying grip on the finish. Crown seal; 12.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? No.

Stockists include: Seddon Wine Store, Seddon (Vic); Prince Wine Store, Zetland (NSW).

Jones Winery & Vineyard Fiano 2017

$27

Score 89

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Perhaps this Rutherglen fiano speaks a bit more of winemaking than fruit definition, but it's still a satisfying drop of interest and charm. Nutty oak, subtle floral, butter, and orange-scented aromas lead through a harmonious palate of generous ripe flavours, easy drinkability and soft finish. Screw cap; 13.4 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over two years.

Stockists include: contact Jones Winery at joneswinery.com.au

Chalmers Rosato 2018

$25-$27

Score 91

A blend of new-wave warm climate grapes aglianico, nero d'avola and sagrantino, this charming rosé is very pale coppery pink, with a fragrant, delicate nose of florals and red berries that are pretty and inviting. It tastes fresh, light and clean with good intensity and a long tangy finish. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? No.

Stockists include: Prince Wine Store, Zetland (NSW); Seddon Wine Store, Seddon (Vic).

Yarra Yering Dry Red No.3 2017

$100-$105 

Score 95

Sarah Crowe made this superb Yarra red from Portuguese dry-climate grapes touriga nacional, tinta cao, tinta roriz, tinta amarela, alvarelhao and sousao. Elegant perfumes of violets, wildflowers, briary black and red berries flow into a refined, gentle, middleweight palate of depth and lingering fragrance. Screw cap; 13 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over 10 years.

Stockists include: visit Yarra Yering cellar door or the winery website, .yarrayering.com.

S. C. Pannell Tempranillo Touriga 2017

$28-$30

Score 90

Iberian red grapes have a new home in Australia. This McLaren Vale/Barossa blend has a nose of syrupy crushed berries, currants, cola/sarsaparilla and paprika-spiced meats. It has tons of personality in a medium-weight package with long flavours and well balanced savoury tannins. Screw cap; 14 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over five years.

Stockists include: Kent Street Cellars, Sydney (NSW); Cloudwine, South Melbourne (Vic).

Wine bottles composite for Good Food online. Climate change grape varieties wine reviews.

From left: Chalmers Vermentino 2018 $25-$27; Chalmers Fiano 2017; Mount Horrocks Clare Valley Nero d'Avola 2017; Mount Majura Graciano 2018; Chalmers Heathcote Nero d'Avola 2017. Photo: Supplied

Chalmers Vermentino 2018 $25-$27

Score 90

Vermentino does well across Italy, and has a future here, too. This very pale version has savoury mineral, green peach and juicy citrus aromas. It's softly fruity yet crunchy in the mouth with good carry to a long, dry finish. Yes, we know calling a wine "crunchy" is absurd, but somehow this really is. Screw cap; 11.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? No.

Stockists include: Prince Wine Store, Zetland (NSW); Seddon Wine Store, Seddon (Vic).

Chalmers Fiano 2017

$33-$35

Score 92

Chalmers Fiano from Heathcote is quite concentrated with a nose reminiscent of lemon tart, almond, yeastiness, and subtle hints of herbs like aniseed. It has rich intensity, with tangy balance of lingering ripe flavours that hint slightly at sweetness, counterpointed by lip-smacking acidity. Delicious. Screw cap; 13.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over two years.

Stockists include: Seddon Wine Store, Seddon (Vic); Prince Wine Store, Zetland (NSW).

Mount Horrocks Clare Valley Nero d'Avola 2017

$37-$39

Score 92

An exotic red, out of the Clare mainstream in style, this take on the Sicilian nero d'avola has an "Italian deli" nose of spices, cherries, Siena cake and aniseed. Medium-bodied and supple mid-palate, it tastes ripe with mouth-watering acidity and fine tannins carrying a sustained, tasty finish. Screw cap; 14 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over five years.

Stockists include: Local Drop, Brunswick East (Vic); Annandale Cellars, Annandale (NSW).

Mount Majura Graciano 2018

$32

Score 90

Spanish grape varieties are on the march downunder. This Canberra region graciano is very deep dark purple in colour with bold aromas of black plums, blueberries, pine and spice. It offers good body and powerful ripe flavours, supported by big, grainy, layered tannins. A red for the cellar. Screw cap; 14 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Yes, two to 10 years.

Stockists include: contact Mount Majura winery at mountmajura.com.au

Chalmers Heathcote Nero d'Avola 2017

$25-$27

Score 90

Slightly pinot noir-like, this nero d'avola kicks off with a little sulphide adding dimension to plummy fruit and a hint of licorice. Oak isn't apparent and the easy textured palate's lingering flavour is carried by soft tannins and a notable lift of acidity. Screw cap; 13 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over four years.

Stockists include: Seddon Wine Store, Seddon (Vic); Prince Wine Store, Zetland (NSW).