Following the annual Burgundy campaign which kicks of the new year, it is the Australia Trade Tasting that marks the next major landmark in the UK’s industry calendar.
Australia produces approximately 4% of the world's wine output and is the world's fifth largest wine exporter. Last year at our 2021 judging, a total of seven Australian wines were awarded trophies, equating to 22% of wines receiving the IWSC's highest accolade. This impressive category performance comes as no surprise for those in the know, including IWSC judge and The Wine Society Buyer, Freddy Bulmer.
Freddy is a big fan of wines from Down Under: “I really believe that Australia offers truly outstanding value, especially at the £10-£20 mark where the quality available is phenomenal” he comments.
Last year, three of the Australian trophy winners were dessert wines and the four still wine winners, highlighted below, including Eddystone Point Chardonnay 2019 from Tasmania.
Freddy adds: “I think Tasmania is a region to watch as the cool climate stands it in great stead as we see temperatures rise over time elsewhere. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay there can be very special as it is already one of the world’s best-kept wine secrets. The future is bright for this region.”
The second trophy winner is another Chardonnay, from Western Australia’s Denmark region and the two other winners are Cabernet Sauvignon based wines, one a blend of Cabernet and Malbec from Clare Valley’s Claymore Wines and the other from the Margaret River region: Clairault’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.
“Regionality is something that Aussie wine offers in bucketloads but we are still behind the times in the UK when it comes to recognising that. The stylistic differences between regions are just one of the many things that make Australian wines so exciting,” Freddy continues.
“Margaret River is a region that has really excited me ever since I first visited in 2019. The conditions for grape growing are perfect and the balance that is achieved in the best wines is a joy to see. It is a region which seemingly does well even in the tricker vintages but in stand-out vintages such as 2018 the wines are very special indeed and should be snapped up!”
For 2022 wine judging, the IWSC is no longer judging southern and northern hemisphere wines separately. All wine judging will take place between 2-16 May, with an entry deadline of 25 March.
So what is the future of Australia Freddy? “One of Australia’s challenges is the sheer complexity of its offering; being able to plant what you want where you want is fantastic for the most engaged of oenophiles but can make it very daunting for the consumer. If Australia’s wineries and the trade can work together to better categorise and signpost what’s on offer then surely there are no limits to its success!”