Had you asked me ten years ago what was trendy in the wine industry the easy answer would have been Australian wine. At that time Australian wine was known for its quality when compared to wines of other regions at similar price points. What has happened since then should be a cautionary tale to the industry about what not to do when a category or region becomes popular. Australian wine became over-planted, with diminished quality, catchy critter labeled wines were “created” and then there was a race in the industry to sell all this wine, setting up poor business practices.
While Moscato, Malbec and Red Blends are the rage today why, you may ask, am I bringing up Australian wine? Well my answer is simply that it appears Australian wine is poised to be back to the quality and value position it was once in. Some of what has got us to this point is unfortunate in that wineries went out of business either due to their business practices or a severe drought that crippled others but the industry is stronger and wiser too.
Here are some recent favorites of mine that demonstrate the quality that is back in Australian wine. Yalumba Y Series 2012 Shiraz is a classic example of this varietal with vibrant berry fruit and delightful hints of mocha, licorice and spices. Also from Yalumba is their 2012 Y Series Shiraz-Viognier blend which has much of their classic Shiraz notes only brightened and made more savory by the subtle presence of the Viognier. The Penley Estate 2010 Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastically well balanced Cabernet with dark fruit and smoky oak. If you are looking for a white wine the Peter Lehmann Layers is a great blend with spicy aromas of citrus and peach and great depth and creaminess, making it a great pairing with food.
Until next time – Cheers!
Assistant Liquor Division Manager
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