Spectator Puts Its Dooks Up For Molly

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American taste in wine is a mystery to many Australians in the wine business. Certain critics’ enthusiasm for high-alcohol, porty red wines made from overripe grapes reached a crescendo in the late-90s/early noughties, but there are plenty of signs it hasn’t gone away.

Witness the latest Wine Spectator magazine Top 100, in which the best Australian wine they’ve tasted all year is a Mollydooker (tastings) red from McLaren Vale, Two Left Feet 2011 (tastings), a shiraz-dominant blend. If Mollydooker’s massive, 16 per cent alcohol body-slammers are the best Australia has to offer, we should give up now. Or maybe it’s just that we don’t know what’s good in our own country.

The same magazine has comprehensively tasted the Canberra District’s Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier (tastings), much feted on this side of the Pacific, and doesn’t rate it at all.

The “Expectorator” Top 100 has always had a strong American bias, and this year is no different: 34 wines are from the US and only 18 from France, 15 from Italy, and four from Australia. Germany and New Zealand scored two each. But can they seriously suggest that America produces 34 per cent of the world’s greatest wines?

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