It’s time to experiment with little-seen varietals

LA Valentina Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC 'Spelt' 2011 $44.50

This is a super-sexy Italian montepulciano grown in La Valentina's coastal vineyard in Spoltore in the province of Pescara. It's dense and saturated with dark fruit, cocoa, black guava and dusty, leathery flavours, chewy-yet-supple, stretchy tannins and a fresh, juiciness on the finish. It's an exciting, seductive wine.

Sip with:

Italian meatloaf in sweet tomato sauce.


Jacqueson Bouzeron 'Les Corderes' 2014 $33
Harvested from a parcel of aligote grapes first planted in 1937, this has a comforting aroma of apple crumble, nougat complexity, oatcakes and lemon, combined with peachstone, white pepper and dry, crunchy, green-apple acidity in the mouth. Aligote is not a variety you see much of here, so get into it because this is a definite goodie.
Sip with: white bean soup.

Longview The Boat Shed Nebbiolo Rosato 2015 $22
Grab a seat, get comfy and let me tell you about it. Nebbiolo in a rosé style isn't something you see in NZ every day, but this trophy-winning little cracker from Adelaide Hills erupts with fresh red berries, ripe tropical and citrus fruit and masses of exotic spice. It's taut, tangy, deliciously dry and absolutely one of the best rosés out there.
Sip with: old fashioned prawn cocktail.