Australian wines can and do provide unexpected surprises for both entry-level and high-end libations.
Unhindered by tradition and energized by nature, modern Australian winemakers lead the way in innovation, diversity, quality and price. You can select an inexpensive Australian wine today and be totally satisfied and tomorrow for a special occasion you can spend several hundreds of dollars for a Grange Hermitage, only to wonder whether both originate in Australia.
The Australian wine industry is diverse but most consumers associate its wines with fruit forward, easy drinking, high alcohol and inexpensive products. Yes, there are many of those, and millions of bottles sell because of these attributes throughout the world.
The industry is dominated by five huge corporations – Mildara Wolf Blass; Penfold’s, Jacob’s Creek, Rosemount Estates and SouthCorp. They control approximately 90 per cent of the market. Considering the fact that Australia’s population is approximately 20 million and average per capita wine consumption is 18 liters, the industry must export to survive. Corporations therefore concentrate on marketing in lucrative markets like the United Kingdom, the U S A, Canada, Japan, China, and Scandinavian countries.
Australia’s total vineyard acreage is a little less than 150, 000 hectares, yet Languedoc in France cultivates 193,000 hectares.
Still, the Australian wine market is saturated. Boutique wineries in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania must export, and started looking for niche export markets for their unique wines, which can compete affordably with any anywhere.
Here are some of the better Australian boutique wineries. Their wines may be available through the Vintages division of the L C B O, or from agents specializing in consignment products, or you can order through the L C B O if you have all the details from winery so long as the order is a minimum one case.
Lerida Estate, Pinot Noir www.leridaestate.com
Printhill Wines, Cabernet/merlot www.printhillwines.com.au
Erinka/Murdoch Hill, Chardonnay, www.murdochhill.com.au
Parri Estate, Shiraz, www.parriesatte.com.au
Boggy Creek Vineyards, Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon
Olsen Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, www.vin88.com
10 Minutes by Tractor Wine Company, Sauvingon Blanc, Pinot Noir
Edwars Vinyeards, Shraz, www.edwardsvineyard.com.au
Churchview estates Cabernet Sauvingon/Merlot, www.chruchview.com.au
Wattle Ridge Vineyard, Two Tin Smith Cabernet Sauvingon
Every year Australian wine promotion agency organizes an annual tasting and in 2017, a small event offered a few wines worth considering.
The event was held in small place, conducted for too long, and wines on display had to be self-served. Still I managed to taste most of the wines available, and found the following to be worth considering:
Premium Cuvee, Jansz
Quartz Macedon Ranges Chardonnay, 2015, Bindi
HeytesburyMargaret River Charodnnay, 2015, Vasse Felix
Limited Edition Goulbourne Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Ulupna
Langhorne Creek Shiraz, 2013, Heartland
Crooked Horse Valley Shiraz, 2015, Wakefield Estate Wines
Keyneton Euphonium Barossa Valley Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc, 2015, Henschke
No price provided
All above are available as consigment wines, Vintages release products.