These are your “sun’s out, guns out” wines.
In 2009, some venerable producers got together and formed an association called Australia’s First Families of Wine. It includes some of the country’s oldest and best wineries. This month they are on a North American tour, spreading the gospel of good wine from Down Under.
Since we’re getting into white wine season, I tasted through a few of its current offerings and came up with three that reflect what Australia can do. These are bold whites from a country that does not shy away from delivering flavor. These are Sun’s Out, Guns Out wines. And they are quite affordable.
The Jim Barry Wines Lodge Hill Riesling 2014 ($18) has a classic Riesling nose (a touch of gasoline!) and awesome ripe Asian pear on the palate. There’s a distinct floral character and a lot of charm here. (They do a great Shiraz too.) At that price, you can buy two.
The Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2012 ($20) smells like a fruit salad in the best way, and has the plump texture that good Viognier always boasts—it’s hefty, not delicate. If you like pineapple, you’re going to dig the rich flavors here.
Still more exotic fruit comes from the D’Arenberg “Money Spider” Rousanne McLaren Vale 2012 ($25): We’re talking round, ripe mango and pear here. This isn’t the drier and more acidic grape we know from the Rhone, it’s full-on juicy fun.
Ted Loos is the Travel + Leisure’s Wine and Spirits Contributor. Follow him on Twitter at @looslips.