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Global Wine Values: Australia

Fruit-forward wines with an edge

Kim Marcus
Posted: October 7, 2003

 
Global Wine Values
A roundup of 200 affordable wines from five continents
 
Europe
A powerhouse for firm-flavored wines
 
United States
Look to California and the Northwest
 
The Best of the Rest
South America and South Africa
 

With some of the world's most technologically advanced winemaking and cutting-edge grapegrowing, Australia enters the values ring with a strong advantage. Add to those factors a warm, dry climate delivering optimal conditions during the growing season and a fruit-forward wine style that is gaining popularity the world over, and it's easy to see why Australian reds and whites are almost always near the top of the value charts.

The quintessential Down Under red wine is Shiraz, which is the Australian name for what is known as Syrah in most of the rest of the world. In the values category, Shiraz usually offers ripe, full-bodied reds marked by plum and dark cherry flavors. These are wines that go down easy, with soft tannins and spicy finishes. Australian vintners also like to blend their grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are often combined, with the Cabernet contributing appealing herbal and berrylike flavors.

The Riverina Estate Cabernet Sauvignon South Eastern Australia Bushman's Gully 2001 represents one of the best quality/price ratios in this report . This wine is plush and polished, with currant and berry flavors. It comes from an emerging region and illustrates why Australia can produce so many good wines at low prices: inexpensive land, mechanized harvesting that reduces labor costs, and deft winemaking that squeezes the most flavors possible from the grapes.

Australia's white wine offerings are led by Chardonnay. In this price range, many of the wines show fresh fruit flavors dominated by citrus, peach and pineapple, with spicy elements as well; more buttery-tasting wines usually cost more due to the expense of fermenting and/or aging in pricey oak barrels.

Australian Values

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

Wine Score Price
RIVERINA ESTATE Cabernet Sauvignon South Eastern Australia Bushman's Gully 2001 88 $5
 
OXFORD LANDING Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz South Australia 2000 87 $9
 
ALICE WHITE Cabernet-Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2002 87 $8
 
PENFOLDS Cabernet Sauvignon South Eastern Australia Rawson's Retreat 2002 86 $9
 
ANGOVE'S Cabernet Sauvignon South Australia Classic Reserve 2000 85 $9
 
HARDYS Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz South Eastern Australia Nottage Hill 2000 85 $8
 
LINDEMANS Cabernet Sauvignon South Eastern Australia Bin 45 2002 85 $8
 
ALICE WHITE Cabernet Sauvignon South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
ROTHBURY Cabernet Sauvignon South Eastern Australia 2001 84 $7
 
BLACK SWAN Cabernet Sauvignon South Eastern Australia 2002 83 $8
 

Shiraz and Blends

Wine Score Price
LINDEMANS Shiraz South Eastern Australia Bin 50 2002 86 $8
 
ROSEMOUNT Shiraz-Cabernet South Eastern Australia 2002 86 $9
 
BULLETIN PLACE Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2000 85 $8
 
DE BORTOLI Shiraz-Cabernet Savignon South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
KISSING BRIDGE Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2000 85 $6
 
MCGUIGAN Shiraz South Eastern Australia The Black Label 2001 85 $8
 
PEACE South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
TYRRELL'S Shiraz South Eastern Australia Moore's Creek 2002 85 $8
 
ALICE WHITE Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
PEACE Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2002 84 $8
 
STONEHAVEN Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2001 84 $6
 
BLACK SWAN Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2002 83 $8
 
BLUE TONGUE Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2002 83 $7
 
DE BORTOLI Shiraz South Eastern Australia Deen Vat 8 2001 83 $6
 
HARDYS Shiraz South Eastern Australia Stamp of Australia 2001 83 $6
 
ROTHBURY Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2001 83 $7
 
CROCODILE ROCK Shiraz Murray Valley 2001 82 $6
 
STONEHAVEN Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon South Eastern Australia 2001 82 $6
 
YELLOW TAIL Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2002 82 $7

Other Red

Wine Score Price
ROSEMOUNT Grenache-Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2001 86 $9
 
HARDYS Merlot South Eastern Australia Nottage Hill 2001 85 $8
 
ALICE WHITE Merlot South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
LINDEMANS Merlot South Eastern Australia Bin 40 2002 84 $8
 
ROTHBURY Merlot South Eastern Australia 2001 84 $7
 
PENFOLDS Merlot South Eastern Australia Rawson's Retreat 2002 82 $9

White

Wine Score Price
OXFORD LANDING Sauvignon Blanc South Australia 2002 87 $9
 
KISSING BRIDGE Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2001 85 $6
 
LINDEMANS Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Bin 65 2002 85 $8
 
OXFORD LANDING Chardonnay South Australia 2002 85 $9
 
PEACE Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
PENFOLDS Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Rawson's Retreat 2002 85 $9
 
ROSEMOUNT Chardonnay-Sémillon Australia 2002 85 $8
 
ROTHBURY Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
STONEHAVEN Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
ALICE WHITE Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
ALICE WHITE Sémillon-Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2002 85 $8
 
ANGOVE'S Chardonnay South Australia Bear Crossing 2002 84 $7
 
JACOB'S CREEK Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2002 84 $9
 
LINDEMANS Sémillon-Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Cawarra 2002 84 $8
 
PENFOLDS Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Koonunga Hill 2002 84 $9
 
ANGOVE'S Chardonnay South Australia Classic Reserve 2002 83 $9
 
COCKATOO RIDGE Chardonnay South Australia 2002 83 $7
 
HARDYS Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Nottage Hill 2002 83 $8
 
DE BORTOLI Chardonnay Riverina dB 2002 82 $6
 
HARDYS Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Stamp of Australia 2002 82 $6
 
ROTHBURY Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2001 82 $7
 
WYNDHAM ESTATE Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Bin 222 2002 82 $9
 
YELLOW TAIL Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2002 80 $7
 

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