Three wines from unexpected places

Some of the most pleasurable wines are found in unexpected places.
Some of the most pleasurable wines are found in unexpected places. Photo: iStock

Australian refosco? Italian sauvignon blanc? An Australian gamay-pinot noir blend? Why not?

The world of wine is vast and complicated, it's little wonder most people fall into the habit of associating a few grape varieties or wine styles with certain regions. But some of the most pleasurable wines are found in unexpected places. Shiraz in Tasmania or Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, for instance. Grenache and mourvedre, normally linked with hot, dry climates, in Western Australia's Frankland River region is another one.

The Tertini refosco here is from Mittagong, south of Sydney – a rare example outside its home turf in north-eastern Italy. PTG in the Eldridge name is a reference to passetoutgrains, a blend of gamay and pinot noir traditional in France's Burgundy.  

Eldridge Estate PTG Gamay Pinot Noir 2020, Mornington Peninsula, $35

Score: 93

This blend is rare in Australia. It's a very fresh, grapy youngster whose appeal lies in its simple, unadorned fruitiness. Its colour is light, bright purple-red and it has a textbook carbonic maceration-style bouquet – very spicy, obviously fermented with stalks included. The wine is light-bodied and soft textured, the flavour delicious and pristinely clean. It's for immediate enjoyment. Screw-cap, 12.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to six years.

Stockists include: Different Drop, Sydney; Blackhearts & Sparrows, Melbourne; Fesq & Co in NSW, Victoria and Queensland

St Michael-Eppan Lahn Sauvignon 2019, Sudtirol-Alto Adige, $43

Score: 93

This delicious wine has all the good attributes of the sauvignon blanc grape and none of the bad (that is, excessive greenness). It has a light, bright lemon-yellow hue and a bouquet of spices and tropical flowers, with a faint overlay of smoked charcuterie. It's highly fragrant and charming. There's a touch of sweetness that softens and balances the palate, which is super fruity, intense and long in the mouth. A delicious white wine with character and presence. Diam, 13.5 per cent alcohol.


Ageing? Drink now to five years.

Stockists include:  

Tertini Private Cellar Collection Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso 2019, Southern Highlands, $65

Score: 92

This might just be Australia's only refosco. With its deep, dark red-purple hue and rich vanilla and chocolate aromas, it's a bright young red which responds well to decanting and aeration. The palate is soft and rounded, with fleshy texture and gentle tannins. Floral and red-fruit perfumes came out the longer it was in the glass. A very attractive wine that drinks well young, although it's likely a little bottle-ageing will bring out more complexities. Diam, 13.8 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to 10 years.

Stockists include: Vine Providore, Redfern (NSW); Cloudwine, South Melbourne (Vic);