The division of the wine world into ‘Old' and ‘New' is useful. New World wines can come from almost anywhere outside Europe, but around the margins is room for ambiguity. Take Georgia, it's not Europe, it claims 5,000 years of winemaking history, yet, the few examples in the UK owe more to New World, modern techniques than to that long tradition.
How to categorise the wines? We expect New World wines to be fruit-forward and accessible, drinkable with or without food, as opposed to European wines, which are more structured and less immediately appealing. Sometimes this easy generalisation could let us down. This week, we look at wines which may defy such easy pigeonholing.
- Mauro Drius Pinot Grigio Collio 2004 A honeyed, subtly spiced nose, stylish, dry palate, with enough richness and weight to give considerable length, making it a suitable partner for food rather than a bar-room quaffer. £8.25 per bottle (ex-VAT), HS Fine Wines, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leabrook Estate Pinot Gris 2006 Super-stylish Aussie poised between bog-standard Italian Pinot Grigio and the weight and richness of Alsace Pinot Gris. Builds subtly in the mouth, offering easy drinkability. £13.78 per bottle (ex-VAT), Arthur Rackham Emporia, 01483 458 700
- Quericabella Batar 2004 Rich oaky blend of Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay, historically big and muscular. Here, the oak is reined in, with a balance between it and fresh fruit flavours. Still, it's more California than Chiantishire. £20.66 per bottle (ex- VAT) pol roger.co.uk
- Mac Forbes ‘Woori Yallock' Chardonnay 2005 European styles, but doesn't lose touch with Yarra Valley origins. Fresh, lively, drinkable now but really deserves 6 to 12 months cellaring to develop. £15.46 per bottle (ex-VAT), Clark Foyster Wines, email@example.com
- Greenstone Heathcote Shiraz 2005 Initially not very expressive on the nose, with a tight, lean, almost European structure. No surprise, the winemaker is Italian. Beautiful, firm, but ripe tannins mean worth cellaring. £13.95 per bottle (ex-VAT) libertywines.co.uk
- Chateau des Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc Cuvée Classique 2004 Classic blend of Rhône trinity, with savour and spice and easy drinkability, while retaining structure and interest. £6.60 per bottle (ex-VAT) hgwines.co.uk