Explore the new wines beyond classics
November 29, 2011
First Published: 20:44 IST(29/11/2011)
Last Updated: 00:22 IST(30/11/2011)
If you’re interested in looking beyond the Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone classics for emerging wine experiences from all corners of the planet, then you’re in luck. Here’s a
list for up-and-coming wine regions you could visit.
The main mistake most consumers
make is to assume that Austria is like Germany in its wine culture, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, both countries excel at Riesling, but stylistically, they are typically on opposite sides of the spectrum. For all of Germany’s sweet bottlings, Austria finds its centre of gravity with a typically dryer style. But it’s the great white grape variety Gruner Veltliner that’s made its reputation in recent years.
It’s difficult to overstate the rise that Malbec has seen in the past decade or so. What once was a native French grape variety that did well on its own primarily in the appellation of Cahors is the star of the show in Argentina. From the lighter, more red-fruited bottlings of San Juan to the denser, more concentrated expressions of the grape in higher altitude vineyards in Mendoza, this is the red that made Argentina a household name all over the world.
This area at the far tip of Africa may have made its international name with the much-maligned Pinotage grape, but it’s expanding its audience to consumers at all points on the expenditure spectrum with amazing Bordeaux and Rhone-style blends from regions as diverse as Stellenbosch, Paarl and Constantia, among others.
Tucked into the northwestern part of this legendary wine-producing country, Galicia is experiencing a remarkable star turn as a result of Albarino, the wonderfully refreshing, gently perfumed grape variety that’s become a darling of white wine lovers all over the world. The sweet spot for this grape is Rias Baixas, where Albarino grows up to achieve all the peachy, brightly acidic personality it can.
Italy may seem like an unlikely country to mention on this list, but the explosion of great wines from appellations that few people have ever heard of before is more than enough to warrant its inclusion. Oltrepo Pavese, Valcalepio in Lombardy, the entirety of Apulia, and Alto Adige in the north are just a small sampling of the places where this ancient wine land is hitting its stride. So, please, go exploring. You’ll be amazed by how many surprises Italy holds in store.