We’ve been following (albeit tracking) with great interest the UK’s ongoing love affair with this charismatic red wine producing country. No sooner had we seen the vivacious success New Zealand wine had offered we were quickly catapulted into the arrival of small, boutique hand-crafted wines being produced by a ‘new wave’ of Australian wine producers. We’re talking small batch, organic (and biodynamic) wines that have driven Australia’s untapped potential through many a wine enthusiast’s palate. Bearing in mind, the majority of the UK don’t see past big brands such as Yellow Tail and Jacobs Creek. We are here to tell you there is a plethora of kick ass red Aussie wines on our UK shores.
A country not broadly steeped in tradition, but seemingly and casually unearthing a raft of pioneering individuals audaciously leading the perception of Australian wines to a bright future. A natural interest has sparked across the globe, particularly as our fav Sheeraaz have came into play in the last 40 years. Watching these vignerons nail a style that has become synonymous with the phrase ‘Australian Red’. It’s certainly been a rocky road, with several styles suffering through highs and lows, but as resilient as those Aussie folk are they've managed to seduce us with visually intoxicating images whilst simultaneously hypnotising us into a state of adoration. We are now proud to see Australian Wine as *one* of the most successful New World wine countries. (Sozz, but we’re pretty certain New Zealand is up there too). Anyway, back to Australian Red Wine - quite a significant topic, not only because when you track down something good it is so so good, but it also accounts for a fair chunk of wine production across the globe, given Australia is the fifth largest wine exporter on the globe.
There are the obvious icons, who set and retain a benchmark of quality and integrity. Our top picks include, but are certainly not the limited to; Henschke, Penfolds, Cullen, Clonakilla, Grossett. However, what happens if you don’t know where to turn after these icons, or actually, in fact you want something better value to quaff of a night? Wine is probably one of the most intimidating things to buy - from stylish labels, critics choices and so many varieties and then lets talk about vintages - how many red grape varieties really are there? We wanted to highlight for you an old varietal fav but to also introduce you to a varietal you may not be so familiar with.
First and foremost Australian Shiraz (FYI Syrah and Shiraz are genetically the same, however alternative styles are produced between new and old world hence the mutation of grape name) Typically Shiraz is grown in a warmer climate, however excitingly we are starting see some cool-climate examples appear in Australia. Check out Barossa or Mclaren Vale to get your Shiraz fix!
Our next favourite Australian Red wine grape would have to be Grenache, and we’re super stoked to see it break out from being seen traditionally blended with Mouvedre and Syrah - this cheeky wee grape is producing approachable, fresh and light (er) styles of red from Australia - check out our absolute star friends Ochota Barrels, a collection of natural wines with attitude, freshness and sass appeal. Grenache is bright, can be drunk as rosé, and always enjoyed with our favourite charcuterie. If you want to discover more epic Aussie red, you know what to do, get yourself up to speed here
Much like New Zealand Wine, Australia's wine journey is relatively youthful (even though they have some of the oldest vines in the world), The Aussie image is enhanced by its clean, green and sustainable attitude and is lead but an intuitive group of producers who aren’t afraid to step away from the norm.