Australian whines are increasingly developing a reputation as some of the best in the world and are even overtaking the traditional whines of the British and French. Here are some the most prominent Australian whines to look out for in the coming year.
Pyne’s 1959 ‘Magna Carta’ Merlot
Adelaide Hills (SA)
The Pyne family’s whine making techniques have remained unchanged for decades, combining the old fashioned ingredients of Christian morality, western civilisation, liberal membership and private education. Pyne family whines were selling in record numbers in from 2001 – 2004, before souring in 2007 after their parent company Howard & Costello Breweries went out of business. However the Pyne’s rebuilt and with the release of the 1959 ‘Magna Carta’ Merlot, the Pyne whine range is back in vogue. (Note: only available only in 350ml size bottles.)
Keating’s 1986 ‘Banana Republic’ Cabernet Sauvignon
Riverina Region (NSW)
Arguably Australia’s finest whinemaker, Keating’s whines experienced something of a renaissance last year. A dearth in contemporary whines of similar quality and the whinery’s 70th anniversary were key factors in a renewed public interest. Keating’s latest release is another ‘strong, powerful and full bodied whine aged to perfection,’ in a similar vein to 1992’s ‘Slowly’ Shiraz, 1984’s ‘Old Dog’ Cabernet Sauvignon and 2007’s ‘Iceberg’ Riesling.
Morrison’s 2001 ‘Borders’ Chardonnay
Hunter Valley (NSW)
Morrison’s whines are made from 100% Australian owned and grown products and the 2001 ‘Borders’ Chardonnay has been described as ‘a white whine of rare quality’ and ‘a white whine that speaks volumes, while at the same time remaining silent.’ Morrison’s range of white whines have quickly become the most divisive in the country, with many drinkers finding the tastes abrasive and sour, while others describe them as soothing and reassuring. Whatever your tastebuds tell you, Morrison’s will leave you with a lasting impression.
Bernardi’s 2006 ‘Revolutions’ series
Clare Valley (SA)
Bernardi’s are renowned for pushing the limits in their whine making and this year’s release of the ‘Revolutions’ series is sure to divide once again. In a nod to their European heritage, the family run whinery have produced three classic Italian white whines. The ‘Abortomorte’ Pinot Grigio is described as ‘breathing new life into a past concept,’ while the ‘Say I Do’ Vermentino will be sold exclusively in a special 2 box set, with novelty blue and pink coloured bottles, finally Bernardi’s complete the trio with the ‘Non Verde’ Moscato, a sweet, some say ‘smug’ desert whine, with a sharp aftertaste.
Abbott’s 1994 ‘Real Solutions’ Grenache
Hunter Valley (NSW)
Expectations are high for the public release of Abbott’s ‘Real Solutions’ Grenache, described by the whinemaker as a ‘sensible and responsible’ approach to whine making. It seems like forever that the Abbott Estate have promised ‘the great Australian whine,’ and 2014 is shaping as the crucial year. The self described approach of the whinemakers has so far not matched the effects of the whine, with market research showing that the consumers of ‘Real Solutions’ display disturbingly high levels of irrationality and paranoia, producing some of the worst hangovers on record. Many whine experts have already written off the latest release and expect 2016 to be the final year of production for the Abbott Estate.
Sutherland’s 2013 ‘Broad Walk’ Riesling
Easily the most popular whine amongst Australian cricket fans, Sutherland’s ‘Broad Walk’ was adopted by Cricket Australia as the official whine of this summers Ashes Tour. Despite comprehensively winning the Ashes 5 – 0, Australian cricket fans consumed the whine at every opportunity, without ever seeming to grow weary of its ordinary and repetitive taste.
Hockey’s 1996 ‘Surplus’ Shiraz
Hockey’s newest release, the ‘Surplus’ Shiraz has been described as ‘strong and full bodied, a heavy, weighty whine’ and experts have noted its similarity to the Costello whinery’s ‘Consecutive’ series of 1996 – 2007, however with more ‘ambition.’ Hockey’s whinery employ similar high cost, unsustainable whine producing methods to the Costello’s, irking many experts in the whine industry as well as consumers. However, Hockey’s have assured the industry that its 2017 release will make it all worthwhile.
Rinehart’s 1992 ‘Mine, All Mine’ Rosé
Margaret River (WA)
Priced at an exclusive $1,299 a bottle, The Rinehart Estate have once again limited their sales by pricing their whines out of reach of many consumers. Nevertheless, Rinehart’s continue to be a strong Australian whine producer, having captured a large part of the export market, particularly the Chinese. The ‘Mine, All Mine’ Rosé has been aged for twenty two years in the cold, damp and dark cellars that are a hallmark of The Rinehart Estate. Despite the hefty price tag, ‘Mine, All Mine’ is expected to sell well and has attracted rave reviews from experts, described as a ‘rich, loud and powerful’ whine.
Hird’s 2013 ‘Pay Day’ Sauvignon Blanc
Mornington Peninsula (VIC)
For so long the Hird Estate was unable to put a foot wrong. Stellar releases in 1993, 1996 and 2000 stood out in a string of consistent production. However, the 2013 release, ‘Pay Day,’ has attracted wide criticism from the industry and whine public. Hird’s ‘Pay Day’ Sauvignon Blanc has been described as ‘out of touch with traditional whine making methods,’ ‘arrogant and bitter’ and ‘a stain on an otherwise solid production history.’ The pressure on Hird’s for redemption is enormous.
Bolt’s 2009 ‘The New Black’ Sauvignon Blanc
Yarra Valley (VIC)
Australia’s largest producer of cheap white whine, Bolts latest release, ‘The New Black’ is yet another in a long line of low quality, mass produced white whine marketed to the amateur consumer. ‘The New Black’ which retails for $4.99 has been described by whine experts as ‘overpriced pigswill,’ ‘undrinkable slime’ and ‘worse than Lambrusco,’ yet is still one of the countries most popular white whines.