Terry Kirby suggests three wines from Australia that confound expectations

Are Aussie wines just over-oaked Chardonnay and over-the-top Shiraz? Try this subtle and well-made trio to get a new take on the new world….

Dead End Tempranillo 2015

A wacky Day of the Dead label belies the serious wine inside, its balanced character reflecting McLaren Vale winemaker Steve Pannell’s experience working in Europe. Think a juicy, youthful, medium-bodied Rioja: a small amount of oak but bursting with flavours of black cherries with just a hint of earth and spice giving added texture. Ideal with autumnal game or lighter white meats. 

£19.95 nywines.co.uk

Bill Downie Petit Verdot 2015

Another individually crafted wine from a highly respected Aussie winemaker: these are hand-tended vines, grown through a biodynamic process from the Murray River area. This is a great match for a casserole or a vegetable tagine: ripe, smooth, intense black fruits, enlivened with the violet-tinged lightness that can be found in Bordeaux blends. 

£14.95 halifaxwinecompany.com; £15.80 thebottlebank.co.uk

Hummingbird Verdelho 2016

A beguiling white made from a grape more associated with the Portuguese island of Madeira: so different from many big Aussie whites: this is relatively low in alcohol at 12.5pc, crisp, refreshing with a lovely blend of citrus, tropical fruit flavours and a hint of creaminess giving extra body. A great match for any shellfish or lighter fish dishes.

£9.99 virginwines.co.uk