I first began to love and appreciate Australian wines when I was working as a Fine Wine Specialist on the distribution side of the business. The Jacob's Creek Reserve wines were just starting to come to the US with regularity and I was struck by there quality and the value they represented at their price point. A year later, the 2003 Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz made The Wine Spectator Top 100 of the year at a $14 price point. To this day, it is one of the best Shiraz I have ever tasted.
The Australian wine industry has hit some bumps in the road recently. The wines from the land down under were so popular that new wineries sprung up everywhere producing a glut of grapes and wines on the market. The supply / demand ratio swung dramatically against Australian wineries. The recovery is now underway and there are some really nice values out there these days.
Here's a look at five excellent Australian Shiraz at under $20 retail:
This is actually a Shiraz-based blend with six other grapes blended in to provide some balance to the usually spicy Shiraz. The wine has a fruity nose and the fruit / spice components are well integrated.
Yalumba "Y Series" Shiraz
The nose of offered hints of red cherry and toasty oak. On the taste, a lush basket of fruit including boysenberry, fresh cherry and raspberry dances across the palate from front to back. Offers depth and structure beyond its price point.
Dandelion Wines Lion's Tooth Shiraz
A Shiraz for those who like them big and bold. The winemaker blended in 5% Riesling to tame down the massive tannins of this wine. It worked really well! The spice components present immdiately, but the wine finishes juicy and smooth.
First Drop "Mother's Milk" Shiraz
An excellent example of just how fruit forward and fun to drink Aussie Shiraz can be. Whle the wine is aged a full 15 months in Feench barrels, this wine delivers a mouthfull of berries and refreshing acidity thatinvites another sip.
Woop Woop Shiraz
Hails from the esteemed MaClaren Vale and meeets expectations for that region at a nice price point. Bursts with blueberry, blackberry and licorice on the front pallate. A moderate black pepper spice provides "zing" on the finish.
All of these wines are readily available in Ohio and Pennsylvania. If you don't find them on your retailer's shelf they can easily get them for you.
Log onto www.myvalleyvino.com to learn more about what's happening on the global and local wine scene.