This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20080806.php.
Another Aussie blend
If you think we've been featuring a lot of Australian white blends lately, you're right: This increasingly popular niche includes a lot of refreshing and table-worthy wines that aren't just thirst-quenching but interesting.
Today's featured wine, Shoofly 2007 "Buzz Cut" Wine of Australia, imported in the U.S. by the reliable importer Old Bridge Cellars, is a thoroughly unconventional blend of Viognier 35%, Riesling 26%, Chardonnay 16%, Verdelho 12%, Semillon 6%. (Some vintages, but not this one, add a bit of Sauvignon Blanc.)
Offbeat white blends often face the charge of "muddied" flavors, much like a painter who mixes a little too much red, green, blue and yellow to achieve a dull brown color on his palate. But I've encountered no such problem with recently tasted Aussie white blends, which - at least to my taste buds - tend not so much to favor one or two of the components as to present a new, balanced and interesting result.
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Shoofly 2007 "Buzz Cut" Wine of Australia ($11.99)
Clear, bright straw color. Pleasant citrus, peach and subtle herbal aromas emerge from the glass, suggesting no specific grape variety but aromatic and appealing overall. Mouth-filling and crisply acidic, flavors follow the nose; tart acidity forms a solid backbone for refreshing, not overblown fruit, with a distinct citric snap in a long finish. Very good food wine, with impressive balance and complexity for a white at this price. A blend of 35% Viognier, 26% Riesling, 16% Chardonnay, 12% Verdelho and 6% Semillon; the label claims a reasonably rational 13.5% alcohol. U.S. importer: Old Bridge Cellars, Napa, Calif. (July 27, 2008)
FOOD MATCH: Good just about anywhere a full, acidic white will go. It was fine with a fricasee of chicken parts with carrots, onions and fresh garden tomatoes with orzo pasta.
VALUE: A fine buy at this price.
WHEN TO DRINK: It's tough to predict ageworthiness for unusual blends, and this one is clearly made for immediate enjoyment. That said, I see no reason this wouldn't hold, and possibly gain richness, over a few years' cellar time.
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