On the other side of the world, Australian wines are created for the world to discover.
It is often said that climate drives flavor, and with many Australian wines, that is certainly the case. With extreme weather conditions and rainfall, the grapes mature at different stages and takes expert care to manage. Winery managers and staff must be quick to make the decision when to harvest to get maximum flavor for each bottle of wine.
Australia is screaming, “Shiraz is back and better than ever!” The new world wines of Australia have gained momentum over the past few years, producing new white and red wines unlike any other country. In addition to Shiraz, Australia is known for their Chardonnays, but I have a few more delicious selections to recommend.
SHIRAZ, THE KING OF AUSTRALIAN WINES
The flavor of an Australian Shiraz is much different from the original grape, Surah, found in France’s Rhone Valley. As we discussed in previous posts, the climate, soil and weather make a dramatic difference in the final product of any wine. What attracts people to enjoying this spicy, peppery blackberry style of Shiraz can be attributed to Australia’s unique climate.
Australia, even though it is considered new world, has perhaps the oldest grape vines in the world. Hunting for these old vines, we can find them in Hunter Valley of new South Wales slightly south from Sydney. Some of these vines date back to 1864 to the Tyrrell Family. Tasting wines off of these historic vines brings wonderful tastes and very interesting characteristics with notes of cinnamon, clove, plum and hints of mocha. From nearby Riverina, we found Scruffy’s Shiraz and their Drover’s Hut Chardonnay that have very elegant aromas and wonderful finish.
MORE FANTASTIC AUSTRALIAN WINES
Another great new wine we found with Rhone Valley-like grapes and flavor is our 2015 Flegenheimer Brothers “Paisant Red”. This rich red wine is a blend of Grenache and Shiraz grapes from McLaren Vale. This winery, founded by a German Family, dates back to 1872. Once this bottle is opened, it softens and gives you spicy notes with black cherry, plum, cedar and vanilla. It is a fun wine to enjoy with friends as you explore these new world wines from down under.
There are also some sought-after wines like Cullen and Penfolds from South Australia. The “Grange” was created by Max Schubert in the early 1950’s after his tour of the famous Bordeaux Regions of France. He was amazed how well the wines of Bordeaux were blended with up to 5 different grapes and had so much flavor, structure and could age for years. The recent 2010 Penfolds Grange scored 99 Points and had a Retail Value of $850.00 per Bottle. It can age for 25 years and enjoyed by many collectors.
AUSTRALIAN WINES WITH FOOD
With all our wines from Australia, I recommend enjoying them with grilled or roasted meats and vegetables. Two of my favorite meals are grilled rack of lamb or a standing rib roast, paired with garlic red potatoes and seared asparagus. These wines should be opened 30 minutes prior to serving. Either decant them, or pour in a glass to allow the opening of flavors before enjoying with your meal.
Cheers, my friends!