I read with interest a recent review by Jancis Robinson MW of a tasting of Australian collectible wine. It is subscriber only unfortunately, so there is little point posting the link. It’s a frank assessment of the wines tasted and that’s a good thing – critics should be open and honest. But the views expressed can be tested too. Few locally for example I expect would describe a Phillip Jones’ Bass Philip wine as “Not like Burgundy at all! … Not really very sophisticated” (Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir 2012). The word “sweet” receives 33 “matches” in 59 wine descriptions when describing (mostly) South Australian shiraz. A Noon grenache is described as having “massive sweetness and alcohol on the palate. Most unusual nowadays!” which more or less captures the zeitgeist in some quarters as regards Australian warm climate wine styles from Barossa/McLaren Vale, I think.
A Clonakilla shiraz viognier is conversely noted as being “bony and very different from the Australian Shiraz norm“. This had me thinking too. Is there such a norm? Perhaps in offshore markets where the depth of offering is not there. But in Australia in 2016? At least in my view, there’s considerable variation in style moving north to south (think Glaetzer-Dixon in Tasmania), east to west.