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Harpers Wine Stars Awards

HARPERS WINE STARS AWARDS AUSTRALIA 2018 Our most recent Wine Stars Awards found Australia in rude health, delivering a bumper crop of accolades across both traditional and modern styles, as Andrew Catchpole reports


he UK’s biggest wine category is popular for a reason and that reason remains rooted in the flavour-laden bang for your buck that Shiraz and Chardonnay can deliver, albeit in a more modern framework than of old. This was the message delivered by our judges at Harpers’ recent Wine Stars Awards Australia session, with buyers from various sectors revealing that the market remains strong for Aussie classics with generous fruit and full-bodied appeal, with modern interpretations of such wines still popular with consumers. While the judges unanimously praised many of the newer wave of artisanal wines and more off-piste grape varieties, agreeing that such styles are generating interest and excitement among trade and writers, “the level of the noise being generated is at odds with the commercial reality” – which is that most consumers want to remain within their comfort zone. And for most, this means wines that fully express their Australian personality, with perhaps just a little more freshness and polish than the rugged blockbusters that originally put Australia on the vinous map. The judges also cautioned against “stripping out too much Aussie character”, referring to the recent trend for producers to pick early and deliver lean, sometimes under-ripe Chardonnay and Shiraz. “We still see a good cross-section of styles selling. People are trying the newer, fresher, brighter styles and varieties, but we have a very solid market for traditionally made Aussie classics,” said Noel Young of Noel Young Wines. “Shiraz never went away,” added John Hoskins MW of the Old Bridge Inn. “There are still customers out there who like big, rich wines. Some Shiraz and Shiraz blends have toned it down a little, which suits the [Australian] domestic market, but actually a lot of people like those bigger styles,” he said. 2 January 2018 |

Harpers Wine Stars Australia 2018  
Harpers Wine Stars Australia 2018