Regions south of the equator are currently in the midst of autumn — the leaves are falling off the trees and grape harvest time is happening in many countries. Important wine regions below the equator include New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Chile, where you can find some new and interesting wines.
You won’t find wines from areas closer to the equator because the grapes don’t have a period of dormancy or rest where temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Grapes grow there, but the quality they produce would not be enjoyable.
While shopping, I found some wines you might enjoy from some of the other southernmost wine regions.
Crios Rosé of Malbec 2015 from the Uco Valley in Argentina is already one of my favorite choices this summer for $9.99. The color is a deep rosé color with a fresh aroma of strawberries. It tastes of strawberries, cherry and a bit of spice with a clean, dry finish.
Tannat is a grape most of you may not have heard of. It grows mostly in Uruguay and southwest France. The origins of this grape are from the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. Crios Tannat 2013 is a great choice for a bolder dry red at a bargain for $11.99. If you haven’t tried this grape, now is the time. The wine has a deep purple color with aromas of red fruit, plum and a bit of spice. It has an ever-so-slight hint of sweetness. Wine Advocate awarded this wine 89 points and it tastes amazing with blue cheese.
A good 'ole mate told me to try Insurrection Shiraz Cabernet 2014 for $14.99. This wine has big bold flavors of ripe plums and chocolate. The Shiraz adds fruit and spice while the Cabernet Sauvignon gives this wine some power and structure. It has a long smooth finish. This wine is from South Eastern Australia areas of Langhorne Creek and Pathaway.
The first is a Pinot Gris 2015 called Devil’s Staircase for $15.99. This is from the Central Otago region of New Zealand. The grapes were hand harvested and this is an off-dry style of wine. It has notes of pear and citrus — see if you can tell the hint of ginger.
With summer coming, Sauvignon Blanc is a nice refreshing choice with notes of citrus. 13 Celsius 2014 is available for $14.99. It has a straw color with bright aromas of grapefruit with a crisp minerality, apple and lemongrass. This wine is very dry with a medium to longer finish that leads you to peaches and nectarines. This wine is from the Marlborough region and includes grapes from both the Wiahopai and Awatere valleys that have gravelly soil from ancient riverbeds. The name,13 Celsius, comes from the optimum temperature to serve the wine, which equates to 55.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The label on the black actually turns blue once it reaches the proper temperature.
Try Seresin "Leah" Pinot Noir 2010 for $25.99 from the Marlborough region. I enjoyed this Pinot Noir on my back patio. Wine Enthusiast gave this wine 91 points. It has aromas of earth, plum, cherry and a little spice with a silky chocolaty finish. They definitely have done a nice job with this wine.
Don’t be afraid of some of these new world wines. They are making some great choices and you will find some great wines from these regions.
Have a wine good Memorial Day weekend, and try going south for your next wine choice.
To try some of these suggestions, the East Market Street location of Fine Wine and Good Spirits is planning wine tastings for a few of these wines; check their schedule.