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

Berton Vineyards 2017 Metal Label Black Shiraz
95 points
$14
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 finish that exhibits accents of pomegranate-cardamom chutney, cranberry-choke cherry relish, cedar bark, and buckwheat honey 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
Wakefield/Taylors 2018 Reserve Parcel Riesling
94 points
$25
Straw green color. Fruity aromas and flavors of pineapple, Asian pear, ripe peach, yuzu, musk, and honeycomb with a round, racy, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, delightful, medium-long finish displaying notes of cloudberry. A fruity and pure Riesling with cellar-worthy acidity; enjoy its freshness now or uncover greater complexity after several years in the cellar.
Shottesbrooke 2016 Reserve Series Eliza Shiraz
94 points
$45.99
Black ruby color. Aromas of roasted dates, bacon, honey, blueberry jam, and chocolate cream pie with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length toasted nuts, pastry crust, and cafe latte finish with moderate oak flavor. A voluptuous, spicy shiraz.
94 points $45.99
Monterra 2016  Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$25
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of black cassis, autumn leaves, eucalyptus, paprika, black licorice, and warm tobacco with a silky, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a tingling, layered, long finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A warm and spicy cabernet with a Bordeaux-like presence; will be a delight with grilled meats and celebrations.
Monterra 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$40
Black garnet color. Aromas of ripe plum, ground ginger, eucalyptus, and rosemary with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long dark chocolate, pomegranate, toasted baguette, butter, and fleur de sel finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A delicious, well-structured Cabernet with heaps of spice; drink now or cellar.
Wakefield/Taylors 2018  Tempranillo
93 points
$20
Best Buy
Garnet black color. Herbal, fruity aromas and flavors of eucalyptus honey, cranberry chutney, sarsaparilla, and vanilla almond bark with a supple, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long finish that shows touches of pomegranate-blueberry sauce, cola float, and herb and spiced nuts. Robust herbs and spices delight in this exotic Australian expression of the famous Spanish grape.
Awards: '2019 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $20 and Under' Best Value Australian Wine Exceptional Value
93 points $20 Best Buy
Taylor Made 2018 Wild Ferment Pinot Noir
93 points
$25
Dusty light ruby color. Aromas and flavors of compressed watermelon, marinated plum, eucalyptus-mint, gingerbread, and green tea with a silky, vibrant, fruity light body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-long finish with nuances of ripe strawberry and chocolate chew. A delicious Pinot Noir with subtle herbal notes and craveable fruit.
Taylor Made 2017 BDX Red Blend Clare Valley
93 points
$25
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of black cassis, pencil shavings, raspberry coulis, and bay leaf with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, elegant, long finish with accents of toasted almond nougat, dark chocolate, carob cookie, and black licorice with well-integrated, medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. An upstanding Bordeaux blend from Clare Valley with great concentration.
Colab & Bloom 2017  Shiraz
93 points
$25
Black ruby color. Complex, spicy aromas of fresh cracked black pepper, dried lavender, blueberry, anise, and grilled meats with a satiny, lively, fruity medium-full body and a peppery, complex, medium-long rosemary, roasted nuts, and cacao nibs finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A zesty, complex shiraz for decadent meals.
Elysian Springs 2018 Pennies From Heaven Sauvignon Blanc
93 points
$27.50
Golden straw color. Aromas of juicy gooseberry, passionfruit custard, turmeric, and wet grass with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length cardamom and starfruit finish with no oak flavor. An outgoing Sauvignon Blanc with big personality; exuberantly fruity.
93 points $27.50