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Australia

Australia is proving that its wines have quality and diversity in abundance.

With a land mass of more than 7.5 million sq km, you could fit England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland into Australia 30 times, and still have a bit left over. It's not surprising therefore that climates and topography are varied. The best wine-producing regions are located on the southern side of the country.

The climate of individual regions has the greatest influence on wine style, and so the key to unlocking the potential of Australia's wines is understanding the geographical distinction of its vineyards. The five most important wine states in Australia are: Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania.

Great Australian Grape Varieties
Australia successfully grows a range of grapes: cabernet sauvignon, grenache, mourvèdre, and pinot noir in reds; chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc and semillon in whites. But it is perhaps shiraz which deserves the headlines. As Barossa wine producer Peter Lehmann so colourfully said: 'When God invented shiraz, he did it with Australia in mind.' Winemakers are not short of imagination Down Under, so there are plenty of exciting and unusual varieties too, from Mediterranean grapes like tempranillo, sangiovese, verdelho and viognier to esoteric Russian grapes like saperavi.

Western Australia
The isolated state of Western Australia is known for its spectacular scenery, golden-sand beaches and giant Karri tree forests. A relatively cool (in Australian terms) Mediterranean climate of warm, breezy summer days and cool nights dominates the wine-producing areas. The resulting wines tend to combine fruit ripeness with freshness – an unusual combination in Australia – which makes the wines particularly appealing.

South Australia
This is the heavyweight wine state, producing most of the country's wine and boasting some of the it's oldest vines. The dry, hot climate ripens grapes fully, making bold, dense and concentrated wines.  The Barossa Valley has a rich viticultural history with patches of bush-trained vines, many more than 100 years old. It is first and foremost a red wine region. Shiraz is king but cabernet sauvignon, grenache and mourvèdre play an important part, too.

Victoria
Victoria, with the most diverse conditions for vine-growing, is the most varied of Australia's wine states. Despite having only 30% of the country's total plantings, Victoria boasts the greatest number of wineries of any state. The result is a colourful collection of wine styles, grape varieties and sub-regions. Below we list a selection of the most important.

New South Wales
Australia's first vineyards were planted here in 1788. Today, the state is most famous for the Hunter Valley, where Australia's most delicate, age-worthy white wines are made. Picked early and light in alcohol, Hunter semillon is delicious for its dry, tight structure and lemony fruit which becomes toasty and soft in texture with age. In successful vintages, Hunter shiraz can be outstanding: medium-bodied, earthy and age-worthy.

Tasmania
A place of beautiful landscapes, this quaint island is separated from mainland Australia by the 240km stretch of the Bass Strait, and is a wine lover's and fisherman's dream. Boasting some of the world's finest seafood, its temperate climate makes it Australia's coolest wine producing region. As would be expected, sparkling wine, riesling and chardonnay thrive in Tasmania, but pinot noir can be exceptional, with a delicacy and lift often lacking in wines from the mainland.

 

  • Geyer Ebenezer Shiraz 2016

    Geyer Ebenezer Shiraz 2016
    $115.00

    I share farmed this 100 year old vineyard for nearly five years, converting it in 2012 from a conventional vineyard to 100% organic, converting the vineyard from permanent arm to rod and spur (a much more gentle and balanced...

  • Frankland Estate Olmo's Reward MAGNUM 1999
    $145.00

    Blind tasted, you could think this is Bordeaux! From the Franklin River in Western Australia where there are plenty of long sunny days, but it never gets too hot. Using all five Bordeaux varieties with 80% given to Merlot...

  • Frankland Estate Olmo's Reward BDX blend 2017

    Frankland Estate Olmo's Reward BDX blend 2017
    $95.00

    VINEYARD All four varieties used in the blend were dry-grown on mature vines in the Isolation Ridge Vineyard at Frankland Estate. The vineyard sits on an undulating northern and eastern facing slope on ancient duplex soils...

  • Frankland Estate Olmo's Reward BDX blend 2013

    Frankland Estate Olmo's Reward BDX blend 2013
    $100.00

    Certified organic, this is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Malbec with a small portion of Cabernet Sauvignon also included. Opaque black dark red colour with a bright dark purple hue. Aromas of subtle blackcurrant and dark...

  • Frankland Estate Poison Hill Riesling 2019

    Frankland Estate Poison Hill Riesling 2019
    $53.00

    VINEYARD Poison Hill vineyard lies on the northern edge of the Frankland River townsite. Its distinctive name resulted from being located on a hill where the Heart-leaf poison bush is found, which is poisonous to all but...

  • Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling 2010

    Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling 2010
    $86.00

    This wine was made from 100% Riesling grown in the Isolation Ridge vineyard at Frankland Estate. Riesling vines from two different clones were planted in 1988 on undulating northern and eastern facing slopes with duplex...

  • Frankland Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

    Frankland Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    $40.00

    Vineyard NotesFruit for this wine was sourced from mature vines in the Isolation Ridge vineyard at Frankland Estate. The vineyard sits on an undulating north- and east-facing slope on ancient duplex soils of gravel and loam...

  • Frankland Estate Mourvèdre 2018

    Frankland Estate Mourvèdre 2018
    $42.00

    Tasting Notes Ripe plums with a floral lift, dense, gamey, bravo apple ironstone ferrous characters with hints of toast and char. The palate is rich and meaty with lovely textural earthy tannins typical of the varietal...

  • Frankland Estate Marsanne 2018

    Frankland Estate Marsanne 2018
    $42.00

    ASSESSMENT Intense mineral slate stone notes,shy white citrus florals, spice andyoung fennel. Grace and poise on the palate, with a clear and resolvedacidity that carries the fruit all the way into a long saline, mineral...

  • Frankland Estate Chardonnay 2018

    Frankland Estate Chardonnay 2018
    $40.00

    100% organically grown chardonnay from the Isolation Ridge vineyard. Lifted blossom florals and white stone fruit. Lovely mineraltiy. The palate has lovely generosity on the front palate, well integrated oak that leads into...

  • Frankland Estate Syrah 2017

    Frankland Estate Syrah 2017
    $40.00

    Jancis Robinson notes: "Entirely from the estate's certified organic vineyards, fermented in open fermenters and matured in 500-litre puncheons for 12 to 14 months. Contains 20% of the new clones planted (470 and 174)...

  • Mayer Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

    Mayer Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
    $110.00

    Grapes are sourced from Yering, around and hour north-east inland from Melbourne. Slightly warmer than other regions of the Yarra Valley, with rainfall in the winter and spring, and relatively cool, dry and humid summers...

  • Mayer Syrah 2020

    Mayer Syrah 2020
    $110.00

    About The Wine Timo Mayer only makes a tiny amount of Syrah each year. The majority of the Mayer vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir but a small amount of Syrah makes an appearance on the upper reaches of the Hill. He makes...

  • Geyer Seaside Cabernet Franc 2019

    Geyer Seaside Cabernet Franc 2019
    $51.00

    100% Cabernet Franc from 25 year old vines near Sellicks Hill in the Seaview district of McLaren Vale. The grapes are harvested at premium ripeness, de-stemmed and naturally fermented on skins for 10 days. They are then...

  • Teusner MC Sparkling Shiraz 2013

    Teusner MC Sparkling Shiraz 2013
    $70.00

    "There’s a good chance ‘Sparkling Shiraz’ could be the answer to the age old question…“what do we drink with breakfast?”. Made from top notch Barossa Shiraz and kept under lock and key...

  • Teusner The Gentleman Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

    Teusner The Gentleman Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    $34.00

    Barossa Shiraz holds uber celebrity status, meaning Cabernet Sauvignon is often overlooked. It’s hugely underrated and there’s a stack I’d be happy to put on the tasting bench to challenge that...

  • Teusner Avatar GMS 2019

    Teusner Avatar GMS 2019
    $48.00

    Whilst Shiraz might be the poster boy for the Barossa, Teusner believe blending it with Grenache and Mataro produces the best drinking wines from the region. Thanks to their good mates the Riebke brothers and other Barossa...

  • Teusner The Wark Family Shiraz 2019

    Teusner The Wark Family Shiraz 2019
    $42.00

    One of the reasons I love the Barossa…and why it can claim to be ‘sacred Shiraz ground’…is the diversity of the vineyard landscape which allows us to produce so many different expressions of Shiraz...

  • Teusner Joshua GSM 2017

    Teusner Joshua GSM 2017
    $42.00

    For anyone who has ever met Mick Page and I, it would come as no surprise to learn that the idea for Teusner Wines was conceived at the pub over a few beers. Sitting at the bar, we’d been listening to a couple of old...

  • Teusner The Gentleman Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

    Teusner The Gentleman Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    $33.00

    “Barossa Shiraz holds Uber celebrity status, which means Cabernet Sauvignon from around here is often overlooked. I reckon it’s hugely underrated and there are plenty of Barossa Cabernet wines I’d be happy...

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