Skip to main content

So, being among the many here who avoid most Australian wines due to the clichéd, overextracted, high alcohol fruit bombs that are produced mostly for American consumption, I'm promped to ask a question.

Are there elegant, restrained, old world styled wines made Down Under? Do you guys let any of them find their way over here? Any recommendations for those of us who find one bottle of Robitussin DM in the house to be quite enough?

PH
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

PH

im in the same camp with u but one OZ Shiraz i have come to enjoy year in & year out is Penfold's RWT... dont get me wrong, it's extracted & dense but i dont find it over the top... maybe the aging in French Oak, 2/3 new has something to do with this... it is a Barossa Valley Shiraz however... this might not be much help, maybe more of a personal preference then anything... but i think i have the same preference for Aussie wines, specifically Shiraz, that you do so tend to stay away
quote:
Originally posted by tannic bastard:
Coriole

Probably Mount Mary too from what I've heard (from TORB primarily), but I've never tried any of their stuff as it would bust my budget.

Aside from that, focus on Western Australia Meritage blends, stay away from McLaren Vale and Barossa.


You know - there's an interesting thread on Mount Mary over on eBob. Just search for "Mount Mary," "RMP," and "under the bus." You'll find it.

And more on point, I happen to think that the Aussie wines like Mollydooker ARE balanced. They have an incredible finish and you don't taste the heat of the alcohol - two signs of an excellently balanced wine.
quote:
Originally posted by Golf&Pinot Nut:
You know - there's an interesting thread on Mount Mary over on eBob. Just search for "Mount Mary," "RMP," and "under the bus." You'll find it.
Yeah, I heard about that. I don't particularly care to check. Parker is as Parker does, people either dig him or they don't.
quote:
And more on point, I happen to think that the Aussie wines like Mollydooker ARE balanced. They have an incredible finish and you don't taste the heat of the alcohol - two signs of an excellently balanced wine.
I've never tried Mollydooker, but based on what PH is asking for, I think he should stay away from McLaren Vale and Barossa.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
So, being among the many here who avoid most Australian wines due to the clichéd, overextracted, high alcohol fruit bombs that are produced mostly for American consumption, I'm promped to ask a question.

Are there elegant, restrained, old world styled wines made Down Under? Do you guys let any of them find their way over here? Any recommendations for those of us who find one bottle of Robitussin DM in the house to be quite enough?

PH
When you step away from those acid-bomb Italian wines long enough to recalibrate your palate to normal levels, perhaps you will be ready to try some Auss wines. Razz

In the meantime, what do you consider acceptable pH levels?
Is a pH of 3.5 or higher (lower number) acceptable to you?
quote:
Originally posted by GreenDrazi:
=PH When you step away from those acid-bomb Italian wines long enough to recalibrate your palate to normal levels, perhaps you will be ready to try some Auss wines. Razz

In the meantime, what do you consider acceptable pH levels?
Is a pH of 3.5 or higher (lower number) acceptable to you?


Picking a pH level is like picking alcohol content for me, GD. Doesn't really matter. It's all about how it tastes and feels. What do you recommend, pH or alcohol aside?

pH Wink
PH, it's a bit difficult to answer your question without knowing what's available over in the U.S.

As you've pointed out yourself, the market in the U.S. is driving the import of the cliched style, and is even prompting winemakers in the Barossa and McLaren Vale to push the boudaries of the Robitussin style.

Rest assured, the situation is very different in Australia, with both fruit bomb styles, but also heaps of balanced, elegant wines available, even from regions like Barossa/Mclaren Vale.

In whites, Clare/Eden Valley rieslings, anything from Tasmania, and Yarra Valley/Adelaide Hills Chardonnays are a good start.

Anything red or white from Seppelt(a big company with major distribution). Central Victorian Shiraz (Mount Langhi Ghiran, Dalwhinnie), Tasmanian and Victorian pinot (Bass Phillip, Giaconda, Bindi, Mount Mary, Domaine A, Pipers Brook), Yarra Valley/Margaret River Cabernet (Mount Mary, Yarra Yarra, Yeringberg, Cullen, Moss Wood, Cape Mentelle). Heaps more I could mention.

Don't know if any make it to the U.S., and a lot of these wines are expensive, but none of them will remind you of cough syrup.
Aussie has it pretty right. Old world styles flourish through the Yarra Valley. Mount Mary is IMO the best red to come out of OZ. For Pinot available in the US try some tasmanian styles like Pipers Brook, Brook Eden and Roaring Forties. Most of these are distributed through Hathaway Trading Co in California or American Estates Wines.
RWT and St Henri are my favourites of the Penfolds premiums as the RWT is slightly more elegant than the big bold usual shirazes.
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier from Canberra is also a cracker.
quote:
Originally posted by khmark7:
So far I've had good luck with the Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Ridge bottlings. Nice ratings and reasonably priced. Worth a try.


khmark7: I would agree that these wines are reasonably priced and have recieved good ratings, but I don't know that they would be described as the elegant, old-world style that PH is looking for.

PH: I don't drink a lot the Australian wines. On occassion, however, I will pick one up because I want one with a steak for some reason. For shiraz, I try to look for descriptors in the tasting notes that say something other than plum, blackberry and spice. I picked up my first Bella's Garden this year because the note mentioned mint, olive and mineral (and some forumites gave me a little encouragement). Don't know what to expect, but I am sure it is not old world.

In addition, I thought that the Two Hands Bad Impersonator was supposed to be crafted in a Rhone style. I have never had it, but maybe some others could chime in a indicate whether or not it is a more old-world style - maybe it is as its name implies, a "bad impersonator."
I find that many old world wine lovers have to have an acidic bite to their wine to consider it an excellent wine, even though the acidity level may be equal to or lower than a comparable new world wine. This is particularly true for many Italian wine drinkers as acidic tasting wine tends to pair better with Italian food. The wines coming out of the hot climates of Barossa & McLaren produce big fruit flavor (similar to Napa) which tends to mask the acidity and would never satisfy those drinkers. And if you have preconceived notions that Shiraz should taste like meaty, smokey, peppery, aromatic Rhone’s, then you will always be disappointed with what’s available in the US.

Common components of Shiraz which are the likely causes why they will never be in favor with people stuck on an “old world” palate:
Powerful fruit
Blueberry and sometimes eucalyptus flavors
Well oaked - usually a combination of American (20% or less) and French oak
Incredible mouthfeel

Winemaker Ben Glaetzer makes superb Barossa & McLaren Shiraz for Glaetzer and Mitolo. The Amon-Ra and the Mitolo Savitar are usually his best Shiraz’s, but you may want to start with the Anaperenna (formerly Godolphin) which is a Shiraz/Cab blend.

Penfolds makes some great Shiraz and their former winemaker John Duval also makes some well balanced Shiraz under his own label now.

Two Hands makes a lot of great wines that are vineyard and fruit driven with good acidity (pH often better than 3.4), but I stopped buying due the new distributer’s price gouging.

Recent vintages you might still find on the shelves:
‘02, ‘04 and ‘05 produced some excellent shiraz
‘03 nearly all these wines are heavily extracted due to the heat

Fortunately for me, I usually enjoy well made wines from just about every great region. I want to reiterate that my comments are addressed to those Aussie wines generally available in the US.
quote:
Originally posted by GreenDrazi:

Two Hands makes a lot of great wines that are vineyard and fruit driven with good acidity (pH often better than 3.4), but I stopped buying due the new distributer’s price gouging.



Green: Probably a stupid question, but have you checked around on wine-searcher? Plenty of places have the Garden Series for under $50 and Wine Library has a couple for around $45. Thought those were pretty solid prices. My local shop also stopped carrying them due to distributor gouging. I have seen them in other shops in the state for over $70.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
So, being among the many here who avoid most Australian wines due to the clichéd, overextracted, high alcohol fruit bombs that are produced mostly for American consumption, I'm promped to ask a question.

Are there elegant, restrained, old world styled wines made Down Under? Do you guys let any of them find their way over here? Any recommendations for those of us who find one bottle of Robitussin DM in the house to be quite enough?

PH


PH,

Why did you not just send me an email seeking advice on this? Razz
PH: Personally, I'm not a fan of the MD style of Ozzies. However I DO really enjoy the fruit/oak mix of some others.

I could get rocks thrown at me here, but I'll say I think you might enjoy the '01 D'Arenberg's The Dead Arm or the '01 Yalumba's The Octavius. Two of my favorite Oz wines. If we ever get the chance to off line some time, I'd bring one (as an extra of course Razz)
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Yup! I'm on a self imposed wine acquisition stoppage for another week or so. Will pull a couple suggestions from this thread and post results before the end of October, for sure.

PH


Sorry PH, but I have to ask - how long have you been on this wine acquisition stoppage? How hard has it been? Any advice? I probably need to do the same!
Other than replenishing my Champagne stock, which I do not consider wine but a nectar of life, Wink I've not purchased anything for over 4 months. I took the summer off from work, and as a nod to fiscal responsibility decided to stop adding to my cellar.

A pretty expensive way to stop buying wine! I don't recommend it for everyone..... Smile

PH

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×