Wines of Australia

If wine has a big three – Italy, France and Spain – then Australia is certainly a solid number four.  Even though Australia has just 4% of total world wine production, it’s the fourth largest exporter of wine by volume behind Italy, France and Spain.  With more than 60 designated wine regions contributing to incredible diversity and quality in all price ranges, Australia exports to more than 100 countries.

Australia’s wine regions are mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country, especially South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. Australian wine producers have also gained worldwide recognition and respect for combining tradition with new ideas, innovation and technology.  Although Australia has no native grapes, major varieties are predominantly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

Originally called Shiraz in Australia and Syrah elsewhere, this variety’s dramatic commercial success has inspired Syrah producers around the world to call their wine "Shiraz.”  You’ll notice that influence in this list of some our favorite Australian wines.

2003 Joseph Angels Gully Shiraz McLaren Vale

From the winemaker: This exceptional wine, only released in outstanding vintages, is made from a parcel of dry grown vines on the highest point of the vineyard. Angel Gully Shiraz is hand selected from a single block of low yielding vines at the pinnacle of the vineyard. Angel Gully Vineyard's combination of cool evenings, deep shale stone soils and naturally low yields imparts spicy, peppery notes, concentrated dark fruit characters and a savory minerality on the palate.

2009 Henry's Drive Pillar Box Shiraz RESERVE Padthaway

From the winemaker: This Reserve Shiraz is an expression of pure fruit, showing fresh black cherry and plums alongside perfumed violets and roses and complimented with background cedary spice. The palate is fleshy, yet well-defined and elegant, exhibiting cherry, rhubarb and plum flavours, with touches of spearmint, anise and subtle floral notes. A vibrant palate with a soft, velvety texture, persistent fruit finish and fine long tannins.

2010 Old Plains Raw Power Shiraz Adelaide

From the winemaker: Named for its creator, Rawley Power, front man for the punk band “Anti-Power,” Raw Power Shiraz is unmanipulated and real, reflecting the commitment and authenticity of garage winemaking, unpolished and raw with plenty of power, the Adelaide Plains way.  Mostly black fruits like plum and blackberry intermixed with exotic spices such as cardamon and alspice.

2009 Schild Shiraz Barossa Valley

From the winemaker: A long slow ripening period allowed flavors to develop at their own pace and let our winemaking team determine the exact optimum time to pick. With a nose of ripe cherries, plums, dark chocolate and Christmas cake spice, the 2009 Barossa Shiraz has a middle palate of vibrant, dark berry fruit supported by clearly defined yet elegant tannin framework, and some balanced acidity to provide structure and length.

2008 Shinas Estate The Guilty Shiraz Victoria

From the winemaker: The first vines on the Estate were planted in 1898. The Guilty is produced from premium vineyards. Due to its limited production only a lucky few will ever get to taste it. The fruit is left on the vines long beyond traditional periods, allowing the intense flavors that characterize the wine to develop. Barrel aged, the Guilty has a concentrated aroma of mature fruit, French Oak and flavors that are full, rich and rewarding.