Virtual Tasting – Southern Hemisphere Wines

Virtual Tasting – Southern Hemisphere Wines

South Hemisphere WinesLast night, I participated in a #WineChat event on Twitter. The featured wines were from the southern hemisphere, specifically New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. The three white wines were described as “Summer Sippers”.

I’ve explained the idea of virtual wine tastings in previous posts but for those of you who are new to virtual wine tastings, this is what the story is:

  • Get a bottle of the wine varietal or brand being featured.
  • Invite friends to share the wine and experience with you (or snuggle in your pajamas in front of the computer if you prefer).
  • Sip and share your thoughts about the wine(s) with other tasters around the world using the designated hashtag on Twitter and/or Facebook!

Here are my tasting notes from the three featured wines – Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Graffigna Pinot Grigio from Argentina and Jacob’s Creek Reserve Riesling from Australia:

2012 Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio

Light in color with a hint of green. This is a light, easy drinking, sipping wine with a floral nose and a bright, fresh citrus palate. As the wine warmed up a bit, it developed tropical fruit flavors that I enjoyed.

Pairings: Delicate fish, seafood, served as an aperitif

Grape Type(s): Pinot Grigio

Region: Tulum Valley, Argentina

Price: $11

2013 Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc

For fans of cool label marketing, this is a winner. The bottle is just so pretty. This is the ultimate light wine, nearly clear in color in the bottle. There are light lemony and grassy aromas and ripe Meyer lemon flavors that finish on a zippy, zesty citrus note. At 88 calories per pour at 9% alcohol – bridal shower-ready wine.

Pairings: Serve as an aperitif or with a light salad

Grape Type(s): Sauvignon blanc

Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Price: $15

2012 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

Pale greenish in the glass with a citrusy, light caramel nose. Big fruit, little jammy plum, nice minerality with a little oak. This isn’t your buttery oak bomb. I tend to like this lightly oaked style. Could be interesting with some cellaring.

Pairings: Spicy dishes (Thai, Indian, Mexican), pork  

Grape Type(s): Chardonnay

Region: Adelaide Hills, Australia

Price: $15

These three bottles were sent to me as samples and are being added to my repertoire.



2007 Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling

2007 Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling

Textbook Riesling it is not, darn enjoyable it is.  Pale in the glass, this New Zealand Riesling has Meyer lemon and pear on the nose.  Perhaps even a little of the kerosene aromas that some Rieslings tend to display.  More lemon and juicy pear on the palate with hints of lime and a bit of fizz.  The finish is dry with nice acidity and minerality.

Pairings:  Spicy Thai, Indian or Mexican food.  Blackened chicken.

Style: White

Grape Type(s): Riesling

Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Around $15

This wine was provided to me for sampling and I am adding to my repertoire as it is truly enjoyable.


2010 Brancott Pinot Grigio

2010 Brancott Pinot Grigio

Had the pleasure of sampling this Pinot Grigio from Marlborough, New Zealand with Jim Robertson from Brancott Estate.  Jim believes that a wine should do two things: wow you and by yummy.  I’m not usually a big fan of Pinot Grigio, but this little number wowed me and tasty yummy.

This New Zealand wine is pale yellow in the glass misleading what’s to come in its taste.  On the nose, this wine offers aromas of juicy pear, wet stones with some grassy notes.  In the mouth, the 2010 Brancott Pinot Grigio shows bright minerality with a finish that caused me to pucker up from the bright acidity.  A zippy, refreshing wine that could be great as an aperitif.

Serve this summer white just lightly chilled at your next get-together.

Around $12.

2010 Brancott Sauvignon Blanc

2010 Brancott Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand displays what is typical of the region for this varietal – burst of bright fruit with a tangy finish.

I first sampled this Brancott Estate wine when it was really cold and some of its aromas and flavors were masked.  As it warmed up a bit, the nose was bright pink grapefruit.  For those wine drinkers who can’t easily identify aromas displayed by certain wines, the grapefruit is prominent and easy to pinpoint on this Sauvignon Blanc.  The citrus notes continue in the mouth with lemon and lime flavors that finish with zippy acidity.

Great summer white at a very affordable price point.

Around $12.

2009 Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir

2009 Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand’s most acclaimed winemaking region, is a dark garnet color in the glass and offers a slightly spicy, stone fruits and ripe cherries nose.  In the mouth, I get tons of juicy, ripe dark raspberries and currents.

I served this affordable and approachable wine at my 4th of July party and it paired well with many of the dishes I was serving from blue cheese-topped sirloin burgers to sharp cheddar macaroni and cheese.

From around $14.

2008 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

2008 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

2008 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

I’ve purchased this Kim Crawford wine several times for casual dinners where I didn’t want to spend a ton of money but still wanted to enjoy a decent glass of wine. I wasn’t disappointed again last night when I uncorked, um, unscrewed, another bottle.

We paired this bottle with Thai food and found that it cut through the heat of the dishes well.  I typically buy Rieslings to pair with spicy food, but this Sauvignon Blanc stood up to the heat and provided a refreshing pale green mouthful of grassy lime.  I agree with the following review:

“Fragrant and complex, with a refreshing burst of lime, guava, grapefruit and grass flavors,” wrote Wine Spectator, awarding it 91 points. “Wet stone, passion fruit and oyster shell accents add interest, with bright acidity highlighting the vivid finish. Another outstanding Sauvignon from a perennial success. Drink now.”

For about $14 a bottle, this is a solid buy.  Pairs well with spicy foods, would be great with a light fish or with chicken, and can be found at most wine stores across the country.

Pairings: Fish, seafood, especially seared scallops

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Price: $14