Three bottles of alternative dry whites

Why do we drink so much of the same varietals? Isn't that just a little boring?
Why do we drink so much of the same varietals? Isn't that just a little boring? Photo: iStock

Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, semillon and riesling: they're the mainstays of the Australian white wine offering. Added together, they account for 75 per cent of the white wine that's produced in this country.

But there are probably another 50 that make up the other 25 per cent. And they are worth dipping into, because they provide variety and variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes.

In reds, it's shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. Why do we drink so much of the same varietals? Isn't that just a little boring?

Perhaps safety is the key reason. Wine is a world of baffling complexity, and we tend to fall back on the devil that we know we like.

Pierro Nunc Tempus Est Chenin Blanc 2020, Margaret River, $38

Score: 92

Chenin blanc is enjoying a revival, especially in Margaret River. This has straw-like aromas with background floral and appley notes, the palate nervy and crisply tart with balancing rich flavour. There's a nutty character and the finish is dry and lip-smacking. Screw-cap; 13 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to six years.

Stockists include: pierro.com.au  

Torbreck Vintners Viognier 2020, Eden Valley, $52

Score: 92

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A new varietal for Torbreck, which is famous for big Barossa reds. It has a creamy lees-influenced aroma with gentle apricot and subtle spice notes, but the varietal character is downplayed.

It's delicate and refined in the mouth, softly textured and harmonious, the finish refreshing and clean but not austere. It's moreish and food friendly. Screw-cap; 13 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to six years.

Stockists include: Summer Hill Wine Shop (NSW); Nick's Wine Merchants (Vic)

The Pawn Fiano 2020, Langhorne Creek, $26

Score: 93

Fiano is an Italian variety rapidly rising in popularity. The bouquet is quite complex for its age, with pepper, cucumber, tropical flowers and honey – more detail than most young fiano, possibly due to some barrel fermentation. The palate is soft and round, with a touch of richness, the finish clean, dry and refreshing. An exemplary young fiano. Screw-cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to five years.

Stockists include: thepawn.com.au