Austria puts antifreeze scandal behind it to produce great wine: Alistair Gibson
After a promising start it would appear we are still waiting for summer to arrive properly. There was much excitement in this house for the Cricket World Cup but it seems to have been constantly affected by rain delays or abandoned matches.
As ever with an English summer we can always hope that just around the corner is the sunshine.
And so, with that in mind, here are some summer white wines to have in the fridge when it finally arrives.
Grüner veltliner is a grape variety that really should be more popular. The most widely planted grape variety in Austria, it may suffer because consumers remember the anti-freeze scandal of the 1980s.
That’s a shame, because grüner veltliner can produce some really interesting wines and is particularly food-friendly.
I’m always surprised that it doesn’t feature on more restaurant lists.
In some ways it could be seen as a slightly more exotic version of sauvignon blanc, it shares similar quite high natural acidity but it often has a characteristic twist of spice or white pepper which is its calling card.
Felsner Moosburgerin Grüner Veltliner 2018 (Waitrose £11.99) is from a single vineyard in Austria’s Kremstal wine region.
It is very fresh with notes of pear, grapefruit and the classic twist of white pepper on the nose, followed by more spice and some juicy pear on the palate, zesty acidity and a nicely textured finish. It would make a really nice, lively aperitif or match it with some fresh crab or even some spicy Asian-style dishes.
White Bordeaux is another style of wine that is less popular than maybe it should be. If you are looking for sauvignon blanc with a little more elegance and less weight than many New Zealand examples, Bordeaux can offer an attractive alternative as well as representing good value for money.
Dourthe Roqueblanche Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Bordeaux (Waitrose £6.99 on offer from £9.49 until July 9) takes its name from the limestone soils on which the grapes are grown for this wine. This is very fresh with a bouquet of lime and fresh grass with just a little tropical fruit in the background, before an elegant mineral and citrus palate with a nice refreshing finish.
This is good value while on offer and would work really well with asparagus or quiche and salad.
Thankfully the days of over-oaked, big, yellow-coloured Aussie chardonnay appear to be long gone and Irresistible Chardonnay 2017, Western Australia (Co-op £7.25) is an example of the more modern style.
Made by one of Australia’s most well-known winemakers, Larry Cherubino, this has juicy melon-like fruit on the nose with just a hint of oak in the background.
That is followed by bright orchard-like fruit on the palate with some crisp acidity.
Price-wise this definitely over-delivers and would work well with roast chicken or a Caesar salad.