If They are Down Under, Are We “Up Over”

It’s Australia Wine Day in San Francisco. I’m headed to SF to do business then taste "over 300 wines".

It has been a while since I’ve undertaken a comprehensive look at Australian Wines. I’m not that interested in the mass imported brands. I’m hoping to get a look at some of the smaller producers, especially those producing Riesling.

My introduction to the high end AU wines came in 2000 when I when I was doing the marketing for Winebid.com. Grateful Palate, a great importer specializing in Australian wines, sent our auction house a palate of what he thought were the best of the best from that continent: Henry’s Drive, Duck Muck, E&E Black Pepper, Charles Melton, Clarendon Hills, d’Arenberg, Greenock Creek. We had a ton of it.

At this time, the best Australian wines were still flying under the radar in the U.S. Only the most fanatical collectors and New World fanciers had their eye on these wines. Then Robert Parker did something. He reviewed the 1998 Australian wines and started handing out 98s, 97s, 96s, 95s. All over the place.

It was a stark demonstration of his power and influence as a critic. The bids on these wines sky rocketed, some up to $400+ a bottle. But nearly all the well-reviewed wines doubled their bids in a day and kept climbing. It was also an important milestone for Australia’s best wines. They had a coming out party.

You can find information on the Australia Tasting in San Francisco HERE.

If anything of real interest emerges, I’ll post it here.

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