Six countries that are still referred to as the ‘New World’ when it comes to wine. Whilst their viticultural practices are admittedly more recent than those found in France, Italy, and the Near and Middle-East, they’ve got a good few centuries of winemaking under their belts by now. Feel free to explore some of our top picks from Australia, the US, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and New Zealand, to keep your cellar diverse and dynamic.
To shake things up a bit, let’s begin our tour down under. Not far from Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is one of the most coveted spots for fine, Australian wine. The area’s Shiraz is distinctive with a rich and chocolatey character. Barossa star Penfolds is no exception to this with its Bin 169 Coonawarra and Saint Henri cuvées. From this same legendary estate, you’ll find the Yattarna Chardonnay and the Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, both of which carry a ‘South Australia’ label. Elsewhere in the Barossa Valley, we love Rockford, whose Rod and Spur red is a powerhouse of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Torbreck’s The Struie cuvée.
Tyrrell’s, in the Hunter Valley, has an altogether fresher reputation, and the estate is known for its Sémillon production that ages really well. Similarly, the verdant Eden Valley is Australia’s number one Riesling region, and here we find Henschke, home to the notable Hill of Grace vineyard, whose mature vines produce marvels. Our last stop in Australia is at Yarra Yering, one of the oldest vineyards in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
Oregon is all the rage right now when it comes to international wine trends, so we thought we’d introduce you to Cristom Vineyards. Up in the Eola-Amity Hills near Salem, this estate’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are grown in vineyards named after the founding family, placing heritage at the very heart of what they do.
To give you an idea of what California can do, on the other hand, the Joseph Phelps estate has a whole range of gems on offer; the Sonoma Freestone cuvée in Pinot Noir 2018 and Chardonnay 2018 versions, and the Napa Valley Insignia cuvée, give a gorgeous impression of the vineyards in this part of the world.
Very much rooted in the Napa Valley, though, is Opus One. You can read a deep dive into the estate here, a Californian-Bordeaux fusion that has taken on an exceptional character of its own. Here, we have the Overture cuvée available, the estate’s second wine, which is not only deliciously spicy, but it also has the advantage of being ready to uncork already. On a similar page in terms of pure prestige, the Napa Valley’s Harlan Estate also features in this selection, a domain whose goal from the start was to craft a California ‘First Growth’ from the hills of Oakville.
Santa Barbara is a region we mention only very rarely at iDealwine. Impressed, though, by what we tasted, we’ve gladly invited the Au Bon Climat estate into our network of partner domains.
Heading South, Catena Zapata is a flagship estate of Argentinian winemaking. The domaine dates back to 1902, and now produces Mendoza Malbec of the highest quality. Their Mubdus Baccillus Terrae cuvée even pays homage to the humble and oft-overlooked bacteria found in the soil. From the same appellation, Cheval des Andes is a must-try estate; another foreign fusion with a French estate, this time Château Cheval Blanc, which has galloped overseas to craft beautiful Malbec.
Matias Riccitelli is another name to note. The Luyan de Cuyo 2016 Republica del Malbec comes from high-altitude vines that are over 100 years old, a fruit-forward cuvée with a gorgeously pure profile.
Staying in South America, there are two Chilean domains we particularly recommend in this selection. The first is Almaviva, a collaboration between Philippe de Rothschild and Vina Concha y Toro located in the highest part of the Maipo Valley. The surprisingly cool breeze here brings a welcome freshness to the vines. The 2019 vintage is bursting with notes of wild berry on a velvety palate. The second domain is Vina Sena, one of the finest estates in the Aconcagua Valley. Here we have bottles from the 2018 and 2019 vintages.
If you’ve never had the occasion to try the produce of Klein Constantia, now’s your chance. This South African dessert wine is doted with an elegant unctuosity you won’t forget. The Vin de Constance ages beautifully, too.
On the other hand, maybe you want to try something that’s not so familiar in name. How about heading to the Hemel-en-Aarde region where we find Storm Wines. This is an estate that produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir alike, in their regional style, both of which benefit from the coastal winds off the Cape.
From Swartland, we have one of the Sadie Family’s flagship cuvées, Palladius, a white cuvée into which are blended ten different grape varieties. In red, we’ve got the Wo Pofadder and Treinspoor cuvées in their 2020 vintage. And for yet another area of South Africa, we’d recommend Kanonkop, an estate found in the Stellenbosch region; we’ve got quite a selection from here, but to pick out just one bottle we recommend, it would have to be the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon for its immense finesse.
Last but not least, we have New Zealand, and three top recommendations from the team:
Felton Road in Central Otago, whose Bannockburn cuvées are more than just a treat. You’ll find them here in vintages from 2018 to 2021.
Ata Rangi in Wairarapa, Martinborough. In Te Reo Māori, Ata Rangi means ‘dawn sky’ or ‘new beginning’, which is a sign to try something you’ve never uncorked before if we ever saw one.
Dog Point, a Malborough domain from whom we have four different cuvées: two Sauvignon Blancs, a Chardonnay, and a Pinot Noir. The New Zealand varieties of all your classic favourites.
You can shop our full selection of “New World” wines here