Dry white blends are a bit left out these days. Restaurant wine lists are strongly orientated towards single-varietal wines and so are retail shelves. Yet some of the world's most engaging wines are blends. Alsace blends of the aromatic varieties riesling, pinot gris, gewurztraminer and pinot blanc; Rhone Valley blends of grenache blanc, roussanne, marsanne, viognier and others; Bordeaux blends of sauvignon blanc semillon and muscadelle. And our own winemakers are having a lot of fun lately with "field blends", which strictly speaking are blends of grape varieties grown together in the same vineyard, harvested and fermented together. The idea is that the more grape varieties, the greater the possibility of flavour complexity.
Spinifex Lola 2018, Barossa Valley, $28
This unlikely melange of semillon, marsanne, vermentino and viognier really works. It's a sumptuous glass of wine, the quiet bouquet scented with creamy lees and the flavour showing a trace of evolution, good volume of flavour and a measured grip adding finality to the long, appetising palate. Delicious drinking now. Screw-cap; 13.5 per cent alcohol
Ageing? Drink now to six years.
Stockists include Prince Wine Store (Vic); Five Way Cellars (NSW).
Kangarilla Road Duetto 2016, McLaren Vale, $25
A harmonious blend of southern Italian varieties vermentino and fiano, both of which have independently found a new home in South Australia. Blends are less common, but this works. Twenty per cent was fermented on skins in clay amphorae. Raw cashew, straw/hay and gardenia aromas; light, clean, refreshing and finishes with savoury dryness. Still fresh and vital for its age. Screw-cap; 13 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to five years.
Stockists include Cloudwine Cellars, South Melbourne; Toxteth Hotel, Glebe (NSW).
Te Quiero White Field Blend 2019, Tierra de Castilla, Spain $22
An eclectic blend of airen, macabeo, sauvignon blanc, muscat, verdejo, chardonnay, pedro ximenez, albillo and viognier. A very interesting soft dry white with spicy, lychee aromas showing subtle muscat influence. Light, crisp, intense and easy drinking, with a firm, dry, decisive finish that lingers. Screw-cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to three years.
Stockists include Corkscrew Cellars, Darlinghurst (NSW); Wineseek, East Melbourne (Vic).