Italy's red grape varieties have been making an impact in Australian for quite a while, but the whites, apart from pinot gris/grigio, took longer to make an impact. The reds sangiovese, nebbiolo, barbera, dolcetto, montepulciano and nero d'avola are thriving in our vineyards and starting to sell well. Now, fiano and vermentino, arneis and verdicchio, grillo and greco, pecorino and falanghina are all finding their place in the sun. The Chalmers family of Heathcote have been especially active. They've imported many of the less-known Italian varieties, made experimental wine from them and commercialised several. Again putting pinot grigio to one side, fiano and vermentino are proving most popular.
Chalmers Greco 2017, Heathcote $33
This intriguing wine is crisp, dry and refreshing, and stimulates the appetite. Light yellow hue, appealing honey, spice and creamy lees aromas with a note of desiccated coconut. Slight grip to finish helps it partner food. Screw-cap; 14.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to four years.
Stockists include Prince Wine Store, Zetland (NSW); Casa De Vinos, Port Melbourne (Vic).
Leura Park 25 d'Gris Pinot Gris 2017, Bellarine Peninsula $35
The colour is light and has a faint pink-ish tinge, the bouquet is rich and spicy, indicating full ripe grapes. The mouth-feel is in keeping with this riper style: it's silky-smooth and rounded, rich and almost opulent. A charming wine. Screw-cap; 13.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Best now to six years.
Stockists include Number 304 Wine Shop, Richmond (Vic); leuraparkestate.com.au
Seppeltsfield Vermentino 2019, Barossa Valley $25
The savoury dryness of this wine is quite Italianate and suggests it would be an adaptable food partner. It has a light yellow hue and a fresh, bright, clean and appealing fruit aroma, while the palate is intense and flavoursome, dry and refreshing on the finish. Screw-cap; 12.9 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to five years.
Stockists include Shorty's Liquor (NSW & Vic); seppeltsfield.com.au