Australian Verdelho wine regional and flavour profile
WHITE | MEDIUM BODIED | FULL BODIED
Tastes and aromas
Flavours of melon, pineapple, guava, honeysuckle and tropical fruit, with herbaceous and spicy notes
Medium to full-bodied, fresh, broad, tangy acidity and higher alcohol
Drink now or later
Most Australian Verdelhos are best consumed within two years of vintage, however those suitable for ageing can exhibit intense flavours with hints of lime and honeysuckle and, can gain an oily texture. These wines are most often produced in the Hunter Valley.
- Australia’s most widely planted grape variety in 1900.
- Verdelho is best known as one of the four traditional varieties used to make Madeira. The wines of Madeira, an island off the coast of Africa, became famous hundreds of years ago for their rich full flavour and ability to improve dramatically during long sea voyages (they were picked up by shipping on the transatlantic routes).
- Verdelho is most successful in a warm dry climate.
Verdelho from Western Australia is fresh and fruity, and has characteristics of honeysuckle. From Langhorne Creek, it has a soft and flavoursome palate with tropical flavours such as pineapple and guava. And from the Hunter Valley, the variety expresses a spiciness, both on the nose and the palate. In general, if the variety is picked early, it will exhibit citrus and herbaceous elements. If it is picked late, rich fruit flavours will be dominant.
Verdelho is Portugal, though most associated with the island of Madeira, and was the most popular grape planted on the small island since vines were first planted there in the 15th century. It was however badly affected by the Phylloxera plague and the number of vines has decreased greatly in the century since then. Since 1993 any Madeira wine labelled as Verdelho must contain at least 85% of the grape, which wasn’t previously the case. The variety is also grown in the Azores islands, Argentina and Spain.
The light body of Verdelho can make the wine great for Appertifs and oysters, and generally pairs well with main meals that have seafood and light meats such as chicken, pork and veal.
Spicy Verdehlo pairs well with pesto and roasted vegetables, whereas the sweeter styles work well with Asian influenced