Whether you are relaxing at home or looking for a fancy drop to celebrate your birthday, here are 10 amazing Australian wines to track down this year.
Because everyone has different tastes, we have picked one from each of the main varieties. Some will be found at your local bottle shop, but for others you may have to visit the winery itself. But for those serious about their wine, half the fun of tracking down that top drop is experiencing such things as Hunter Valley wine tours or enjoying quality short stay accommodation in wine country.
Cabernet Blend – Alkoomi Blackbutt 2007
The Margaret River region of Western Australia produces some of the finest Cabernet varieties to be found in the world. Alkoomi’s Blackbutt 2007, from Frankland River, is no exception. Using Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot varieties, the Blackbutt is a deep crimson red wine that is full and rich with flavours of cassis, red plum and mocha. It can be enjoyed now but will improve after cellaring of 5 to 8 years.
Cabernet Sauvignon – Cape Mentelle 2008
No surprises that another Margaret River wine gets a mention here. This rich wine is full flavoured and abundant with blackcurrants, hints of cocoa and graphite. Enjoy it now or cellar until 2028.
Shiraz – Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard The Lake Reserve Shiraz
An icon of the Hunter Valley, this stunning drop has a boquet of intense cherries, violets, dark chocolate and iodine and a palate of blackberry and mulberry. Best of all it can be enjoyed now or cellared for 3 to 5 years.
Shiraz Blend – Grant Burge Abednego Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2008
Deep crimson in colour, the 2008 Abednego from Grant Burge Wines in the Barossa Valley has delicate aromas of violets, sweet spices, Turkish delight and red fruits. It will reward careful cellaring for 10 years or more and is a perfect partner for duck and venison.
Pinot Noir – Bass Phillip Reserve 2009
From the renowned Gippsland growing region, the Bass Phillip Reserve is renowned as the best Pinot Noir of the last 10 years. The 2009 vintage is possibly the winery’s best – it is quality drinking now but will benefit with cellaring of at least 10 years.
Chardonnay – Ashton Hills Adelaide Hills Chardonnay
Produced from a cool vineyard in South Australia, this Chardonnay is intense with grapefruit, lime, white peach and fig characteristics. It will benefit with careful cellaring of 3 to 7 years.
Riesling – Abbey Creek Vineyard Porongurup Riesling
Produced in the cool climate of Western Australia’s Great Southern region, this Riesling has a rich, buttery flavour punctuated by fresh crisp notes of citrus. It is also proves that great wine doesn’t have to cost the earth with a bottle setting you back around $15.
Sauvignon Blanc – Ashbrook Estate Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc
An unwooded style that is based around ripe rather than green fruit characters, the Ashbrook Estate Sauvignon Blanc is an award winner that gains consistently high scores by tasters and judges.
Semillon – Gundog Estate Hunter’s Semillon 2011
Produced from grapes grown on the slopes of Mount View in the Lower Hunter Valley, this young Semillon has passionfruit and lemon grass aromas. It is crisp, fresh and flavoursome and can be enjoyed now or cellared for 5 to 10 years.
Sparkling – Barringwood Park IJ Blanc de Blancs 2007
French for “white from whites”, this northern Tasmanian sparkling wine is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes. A gold medal winner last year, it represents good value at between $30-$40 a bottle and is great with oysters.