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Mix Six Wine May: It’s easy as 1-2-3

Here’s an ABC wine education to whet your curiosity. While most of the featured grape varietals aren’t traditionally best sellers, they offer serious value for those in the know (which now includes you). So sharpen your senses and prepare your appetite, for these wines are well worth studying.

2015 Alba Vega Albarino
Just as it should be; this Albariño from Rías Baixas is fresh, energetic and ideal as an aperitif. Citrus flesh and its pith merges into white stone fruits through the mid-palate, as the warmer 2015 vintage has imparted a little more weight than usual. The finale, however, remains varietally true as a touch of cracked white pepper provides some moreish zing.
Rías Baixas $34

2010 Cantine Madonna Delle Grazie ‘Liscone’ Aglianico del Vulture
Given Cantine Madonna delle Grazie’s rich history and prime holdings in the Vulture appellation (located within Italy’s Basilicata region), this, their young vines cuvèe has consistently over-delivered with powerful concentration. Floral aromas reveal a smoky profile filled with notes of blackberry, stewed plum, earthy minerality, and velvety tannins to finish. Extended bottle age has also elegantly allowed savoury and tertiary characters to emerge beyond Aglianico’s dark-fruited core.
Basilicata, $34

2013 Nittnaus ‘Kalk und Schiefer’ Blaufränkisch
Nittnaus have some of the greatest vineyards in the Burgenland area. Which they’re honouring through organic, biodynamic viticulture practices and growth of Blaufränkisch, a less-known but quintessentially Austrian grape.

The ‘Kalk und Schiefer’ takes its name from the limestone and slate soils upon which the vines grow, which, in a cool 2013 vintage, have yielded a medium-weight wine (fermented in old oak) with earthy spice, wild berries, cracked pepper, violets and a defined minerality which seamlessly melds the wine’s black fruit and fine tannin aspects.
Burgenland, $45

2016 Ravensworth Barbera
Bryan Martin, Australia’s vinous-utility-man is a master of varietal interpretation. This time around, “Babs” (which he affectionally calls Barbera), has been turned into a delectable drop featuring dark forest fruits, spice and cherry. It’s a seamless offering which is rounded by softened tannins as a result of extra time on skins, post-ferment.
Canberra District, $35

2014 Thierry Germain ‘Cep by Cep’ Anjou Rouge
From the gravelly, shale soils of Anjou comes a vibrant ‘vin de soif’. 100% Cabernet Franc is hand-harvested from organically-tended vines and treated with a short, six-month-fermentation in stainless steel. Designed to be consumed young, the wine is immediately delightful – showing wild red berries, pomegranate acidity and sappy spice. It’s crunchy, herbaceous and surges through the palate before an ensemble of slippery tannins conclude the experience.
Anjou, $32

2015 Tokar Estate ‘Caraf & Tumbler’ Chardonnay
A ripping Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley. With Martin Siebert of First Foot Forward on hand as winemaker, this leans towards a modern expression of Australian production – a sum of: 45% stainless steel and 55% barrel fermentation, with 15-20% of the whole undergoing malolactic fermentation. To taste, it’s a seemingly tighter style with fresh citrus at the fore, but never austere by any means. There’s great line and zip, along with a nutty creaminess which gets the balance just right.
Yarra Valley, $25

$174, save over 15%

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