Three affordable high-quality imported wines

Imported wines need not be super expensive.
Imported wines need not be super expensive.  Photo: iStock

High-quality imported wines need not be super expensive. The name of Burgundy conjures bone-shuddering prices and scarcity. Bordeaux's top chateaux likewise. But lower grades of chablis still offer relatively good value compared to the chardonnays of the Cote d'Or, and there are plenty of other European appellations that regularly give good value in red, white and rosé. They include Cotes du Rhone, Rioja and Chianti Classico for red, Loire Valley and Alsace whites, especially pinot blanc. New Zealand makes oceans of sauvignon blanc and pinot gris which, in the hands of top wineries, can be marvellous.

Here are three well-priced imported dry whites that crossed my path recently.

Domaine Seguinot-Bordet Petit Chablis 2019, France $40

Score 88

This has the flinty mineral aromas that are typical of chablis nose, with a trace of butteriness, while the palate is full of flavour and character, with some fleshiness and texture, as well as length and completeness. It's a very good glass of entry-level chablis. Great with freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters. Screw-cap; 12 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Best now to four years.

Stockists Annandale Cellars (NSW); Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne (Vic)

Prophet's Rock Pinot Gris 2019, Central Otago, New Zealand $35

Score 94

The colour is light straw, the bouquet floral and spicy, very varietal and attractively scented: an archetypal pinot gris. The palate is gently sweet but balanced, and intensely fruity. The residual sweetness is appropriate and in-style for Kiwi gris, and it finishes cleanly. There's a distinct touch of Alsace about it. Excellent with spicy Asian foods, such a pippies in XO sauce. Diam; 13.2 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to five years.

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Stockists Kent Street Cellars, Le Pont Wine Stores, Vaucluse Cellars (NSW); Rathdowne Cellars (Vic); langtons.com.au and thewinecollective.com.au

Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils Bourgogne Aligote 2018, Burgundy $39

Score 89

Aligote is a traditional white-wine grape in Burgundy but it's rarely seen these days, as chardonnay is almost ubiquitous. Examples are rare and good ones even rarer.

This has a light-medium straw hue and a spicy nose with some smoked-charcuterie notes, the palate quite rich and round, generous and nicely balanced. Plenty of character here, if not finesse. There's a slight grip on the aftertaste. It's a fine example of this fringe grape. Cork; 12 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to five years.

Stockist frenchwinecentre.com