Cabernet Franc grapes are mainly grown in northeast Victoria and blended with grapes such as Merlot. This rather rare red wine is unfortunately somewhat underestimated in Australia. Drinking temperature is 57.2- 60.8°F (14-16°C).
Merlot is also little used on its own and mainly vinified or blended with the Cabernets or even with Shiraz. The combination of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Pranc that is then cask aged for twelve months is quite common in Australia. This produces a fruity wine with fresh acidity and mellow taste.
Drinking temperature is 57.2- 60.8°F (14-16°C).
This Burgundian grape will be encountered here less widely than in the Bordeaux or Rhone types. Despite this, Australian Pinot N oir is proof of the skill of the successful Australian wine-makers. Anybody can make wine from the idiosyncratic Pinot Noir but to make good wine requires considerable know-how and plenty of passion. Various styles of Pinot Noir are to be found in Australia, from light, fruity and generous, to full-bodied, sultry, with animal undertones and sometimes a little on the heavy side.
The best of them are somewhere in between these two extremes and simultaneously elegant and fullbodied with a seductive nose containing plum and cherry with a rich, almost caressing taste.
The Australians use the original name for this grape and not its bastardisation into French as Syrah. The Shiraz grape originally came from the Shiraz valley in Iran and was brought to Europe by the Crusaders. Australian Shiraz is a sensual tour-de-force with plenty of colour, tannin, and acidity but also a wonderful bouquet containing overripe dark fruit such as plum, and spices (e.g. white pepper). Mature Shiraz develops animal undertones with a nose of leather and Russian fur, plus sometimes the smell of freshly-roasted Mocca coffee.
Drinking temperature is 60.8- 62.6°F (16- 17°C).
This is very common blend that produces a wine of intense colour with plenty of fruit and a mellow and rounded but fulsome taste. The bouquet mainly evokes thoughts of cherry and blackcurrant with a hint of pepper.
This is an interesting hybrid resulting from crossing the Portuguese Touriga and extremely productive Sultana, which is better known in its dried form. This fairly recent Australian development is causing a major revolution. People who are not accustomed to drinking wine fall for the fruity charm of the Tarrango, which can be served at almost any time if chilled.
Drinking temperature is 53.6- 57.2°F (12- 14°C).
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