Darby's Best Wines of 2010

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My list of exciting wines that I have tried in 2010 is below. Read what I have to say and then you can make up your own list.

Another year has passed and I hope you have enjoyed some great wines. I certainly have so I'd like to share some of what I think are the best that have passed my lips over the past year. You don't have to look hard to see that I have an Italian bias this year.

WARNING: Some of these are obscure! But you can get some if you search around.

Why no Chardy or Shiraz? We'll with one possible exception I haven't really been excited by any of these I have tasted. The wines below are interesting and refreshing, they are food wines

Olivers Taranga Fiano Fiano has been used in Australia for about half a decade and this example from McLaren Vale is one of the best. See if you can get some from SecretVines

Lupara white wine
Salena Estate Bianco d'Alessano 2010. Well this wine won the trophy for best wine in the Alternative Varieties Wine Show in Mildura in 2010. The first of its kind in Australia. The variety is used in Puglia Italy, nearly always in blends. Salena Estate in the Riverland of SA say that this variety has great potential in warmer regions in Australia because of its ability to hold its acidity even in heatwaves.

Lupara made by the Modica di san Giovanni family from Noto, Sicily. Lupara is the white wolf and this crisp wine is made from Inzolia grapes. The Noto region is more famous for its Nero d'Avola but Sicilians are now making some great white wines from traditional varieties.

Trentham Estate Vermentino 2009 I fell in love with this wine at the 2009 Alternative Varieites show. It has everything a good white needs. It is light and refreshing. I served it at my 60th to people who asked for "Sav Blank". But this wine combines freshness with enough length on the palate too allow you to serve it with a wide range of foods.

Cantine Due Palme Serre Rosso 2008 (made from Susumaniello variety in the Salento IGT right down on the heel of Sicily) The new wave of winemakers in Southern Italy are turning away from imported "international varieties" and rediscovering the gems to be found in their own backyard. This is a rich red with a full middle palate. I was introduced to this wine by Silvestro Silvestroni and I am going back to Italy next year to get some more. Care to join me? I don't think you can get in Australia, you might have to go to Italy to get some.

Casona Nero d'Avola A Sicilian gem. Nicely priced but a little rough on pouring, so give it some air, then enjoy it with some BBQed Italian sausages. This wine is available from some Italian outlets in Melbourne see this . Brown Brothers have a Cellar Door Release of a Nero d'Avola wine from their Heathcote vineyards. They keep selling out but as the vineyards mature there'll be lots more.

Gracebrook Sagrantino 2008 I served this wine at the launch of my book in Sydney in August. Italian variety, Italian style wine, Australian grown and made. After a couple of decades and not many great wines made from Sangiovese maybe we should be looking harder to find some other Italian varieties. Sagrantino fits the bill, especially away from the warmer ares.

Brown Brothers Tempranillo Graciano 2008 In my opinion for the 2008 vintage the blend of the two Spanish varieties is much better than the standalone Tempranillo. It is a cellar door release but I hope they graduate this style into a general release. The Graciano adds just a little more oomph and aroma to the predominant Tempranillo.

OK that's just a few wines that I have tried and enjoyed this year. I have deliberately tried to stretch the envelope a little - that's what Vinodiversity is about.

What are your best wines of 2010

list your best wine or maybe six or even ten and tell us why you enjoyed them.

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