Sally Evans’ wine column: spice of life

Burgundy is all about Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the talk of the town. And in the Hunter Valley, Shiraz and Semillon rule, right? But wait, there’s more. There is no doubt that the celebration of regional identity and terroir (very roughly, local flavour) is important. Few would dispute that the Hunter makes distinctive, world-class Shiraz. And aged Hunter Semillon is one of the few truly iconic Australian wine styles, with young Hunter Sems setting a modern benchmark for all that is white, bright and delicious. But the wonderful thing about Australian wine is that there are really no rules. While Europeans are burdened with the rigours of European Appellation Controllée we can do what we like. So it’s wonderful to see a raft of interesting “other” varieties popping up all over the Hunter. And a variety of varieties is absolutely the spice of life! 

Here are Sally’s recommendations for unusual varieties from the Hunter:
Audrey Wilkinson Winemaker’s Selection Malbec 2017
David Hook 2018 Pinot Grigio
Hungerford Hill 2017 Fiano
Briar Ridge 2018 Albarino
Margan Family 2017 White Label Cabernet Sauvignon