Here's a good way to wind down summer: Two delicious wines from Australia - a crisp invigorating Riesling and a spicy Shiraz-based red blend - highlight our weekly selection. Add an old-vine colombard from South Africa, a hearty Bordeaux and a fun rosé sparkler, and you have a party.
Pewsey Vale Dry Riesling 2016
Eden Valley, Australia, $18
Australia produces rieslings that seem honed as sharp as a surgeon's scalpel. Eden Valley, in the Barossa region of South Australia near Adelaide, is a prime region for the grape. This wine slices across the palate with zesty flavors of apricot, peach and nectarine. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent.
Jim Barry The Barry Bros 2015
Clare Valley, Australia, $20
This red blend of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and Malbec is racy with black currant, blackberry and plum fruit, with hints of mint and eucalyptus. It also offered a teaching moment: When I first removed the screw cap, the wine tasted a bit sulfury. It just needed to gasp for air a bit; after a half-hour, it showed beautifully. So always remember to give a suspect wine a second taste. ABV: 14.2 percent.
Chateau Bujan Cotes de Bourg 2014
Bordeaux, France, $19
This blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc offers flavors of cherries and blackberries, plus some white pepper spice once the wine opens up. Quite tasty. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Bernard & Marjorie Rondeau Bugey Cerdon Rosé Methode Ancestrale
Millennial pink comes to mind, both with the label and the color of the wine. This sparkler, made from gamay and poulsard, is juicy, slightly sweet and loads of fun. Enjoy it by itself or with light appetizers or even barbecue. With its low alcohol level, enjoy it with lunch. ABV: 8 percent.
Boet Le Roux Old Vine Colombard 2016
Swartland, South Africa, $13
Colombard is not considered one of the great wine grapes and is used mostly for cognac in France and white jug wine in California. This old vine example from South Africa, though, is delicious. Crisp and refreshing with zesty acidity, it's a delightful wine to start a party. ABV: 12.5 percent.
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Three stars exceptional, two stars excellent, one star very good
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Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.