About Australian Wine

About Australian Wine
Wine is a bit of a quandry when one speaks of Australia. Here is a country that ranks sixth in the world as far as total production, yet it so too often associated these days with inexpensive, mass-produced wines.

This is understandable, given that a few huge corporations produce a great majority of the country's wine, with much of its destined for supermarkets in the USA and England. But this reputation is a true shame, as there are so many excellent wine regions that are home to some magnificent producers.

Shiraz is the country's signature wine; not only is it Australia's most widely planted variety, it is also the wine with the greatest reputation. Especially in the Barossa and Clare Valleys, there are explosive versions of this wine that can age for many years. Other notable reds from Australia are the Rhone blends with varying percentages of Grenache and Mourvedre added to Shiraz.

Certain areas such as Western Australia are ideal for cool climate varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Probably the best white wines are Semillon from Hunter Valley and especially Riesling from the Clare and Eden Valleys. These Rieslings, thought quite different from those produced in Germany, are equally brilliant and are most assuredly world-class

Top Picks for Australia

Shottesbrooke 2013 Reserve Series Eliza Shiraz
97 points
Cloudy indigo color. Attractive, roasted, meaty aromas and flavors of mocha maple fudge, smoked nuts, jerky, and toasty cedar and clay with a satiny, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, involved, long blackberry creme brulee, pomegranate-tomato chutney on rye raisin toast, beef consommé, and tamari finish with moderate oak. A decadently delicious and savory shiraz that will stimulate and satisfy.
97 points $45.99
Zonte’s Footstep 2016 Canto Di Lago Sangiovese-Barbera-Lagrein
96 points
Nearly opaque garnet black color. Spicy, exotic aromas and flavors of spicy fennel relish, pomegranate chutney, and eucalyptus with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, appealing, medium-long spiced nuts, tomato-citrus compote, peppered amaro, and saffron and alpine herbs finish with dusty, fine tannins and moderate oak. A lovely, spicy and herbaceous red blend that screams for herbed grilled meat.
Bells & Whistles 2014  Limestone Coast
96 points
Ruby black color. Spicy aromas and flavors of menthol-mint, cassia, black raspberry, gooseberry, aniseed, peppercorns, and eucalyptus with a slightly chewy, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, subtle, very long orris root, fresh thyme, limestone, and sea salt finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A knock-out herbal red that highlights the Limestone Coast’s impressive terroir.
Berton Vineyards 2017 Metal Label Black Shiraz
95 points
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Herbal aromas and flavors of menthol rub, eucalyptus incense, spicy blueberry cobbler, and lemon-thyme rub with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, nuanced, long pomegranate-cardamom chutney, cranberry-choke cherry relish, cedar bark, and buckwheat honey finish with crunchy, chewy tannins. A perfectly Oz tribute to St. Joseph, with absolutely pristine acidity and length that reflects the limestone soils, and will age beautifully.
Awards: '2018 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $15 and Under' Best Value Australian Shiraz Exceptional Value
95 points $14 Best Buy
Zonte’s Footstep 2016 Chocolate Factory Shiraz
95 points
Dark black ruby color. Toasty aromas and flavors of s’mores, blueberry pie, praline, and anise spiced meat with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, very long spiced sour cherry, fig jam on herb carrot muffin, and hint of eucalyptus finish with light oak. A chewy and appetizing syrah with everything in fine balance.
Levantine Hill 2015  Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
Dusty ruby black color. Curious aromas and flavors of dried stone fruits and potpourri flowers, tomato beet-pickle relish, spicy pomegranate pastry, and beef stock with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity fat body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long marinated root vegetables, honeyed nuts and herbs, and earth finish with fine, chewy tannins and light oak. A rich meaty, herbal red that will shine at the table.
95 points $64.95
Shottesbrooke 2015 Single Vineyard Series Bush Vine Grenache
94 points
Medium dusty ruby color. Aromas of red plum, warm asphalt, and date with an vibrant, dry medium body and a delightful, medium-length over ripe strawberry, watermelon fruit leather, creme Anglaise, and cedar finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and light oak. A surprisingly robust expression of confected fruit and smoky cedar. richness that isn’t cloying.
94 points $32.99
Levantine Hill 2015 Melissas Paddock Syrah
94 points
Medium dusty ruby color. Spicy aromas and flavors of fresh cracked pepper, cedar and sandalwood, spiced dark berries and beets, and parmesan herb bread with a satiny, vibrant, fruity full body and a warming, distinctive, long chocolate drizzled pomegranates, fruit leather, and toffeed nuts finish with chewy, crunchy tannins and light oak. A spicy, mouthwatering syrah with deeply delightful flavors and pure varietal character.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
Indigo color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate craisin, mocha, grilled green pepper, and pepper spices with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, engaging, medium-long dried cherries, blackberry pie a la mode, and cola float finish. A robustly flavorful, age-worthy red that is drinking brilliantly now.
Wakefield/Taylors 2017 St. Andrews Riesling
93 points
Emerald straw color. Perfumed aromas and flavors of honeycomb, fresh gooseberry, apricot, yuzu, ripe heirloom apple, lily, and pineapple with a satiny, racy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, nuanced, medium-long fleur de sel and fresh sage finish with no oak. This mouthwatering riesling will continue to add to its array of complex aromas as it ages; lively and fresh.