In my recent tastings of Rhône whites, these three stood out like beacons.
In my recent tasting of 110 shirazes, seven of the top 10 were from southern Victoria or Canberra.
Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No 2 2015, Yarra Valley, AUD $100
Blending shiraz and pinot noir is a tradition in the Hunter Valley, albeit a fringe activity.
Yarra Yering Dry White Wine No. 1 2015, Yarra Valley, AUD $50
At least 25 Australian wine regions regularly produce excellent shiraz. They vary in latitude from the Granite Belt in southern Queensland to Tasmania’s Tamar Valley. Top-line shiraz is also produced from the eastern to the western extremities: from the Hunter Valley to Western Australia’s Swan Valley. There is no other country that offers such a range of shiraz produced in such a variety of terroirs. Yet people still generalize about Australian shiraz as a blockbuster wine: unsubtle, superripe, high-alcohol and jammy. This is a mistake.
In a country like Australia, synonymous with very full-bodied, high-octane, hairy-chested shiraz, Clonakilla stands in stark contrast. Its most famous wine, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, is light to medium bodied, fine-boned and aromatic. Spicily fragrant to sniff and endowed with soft, gentle tannins, it appeals to lovers of northern Rhone-style shiraz. It has more parallels with pinot noir than benchmark Aussie shiraz.
Australia is a paradise for chardonnay lovers. The calibre of these wines continues to grow, and there is also a pleasing diversity of style which means everyone’s tastes are catered for. My January tasting of 120 chardonnays is now online, and the highlights are many.
This month’s tasting uploads include over 100 new-release pinot noirs, about 140 new shirazes, 55 rosés and various others – close to 500 wine reviews, which is the approximate monthly average for www.huonhooke.com. Three 2013 Oakridge (tastings) pinots are a special highlight: these are all superb,
Que syrah, syrah. Shiraz will be. It will still be here when we are all gone. It will still be here after humanity is all gone, sucked into its own vortex of corruption, pollution and rape of the land. Er, sorry about that. I got