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Deep Dive

  • Australia’s Best Nero d’Avola

    With Australia’s warm regions not looking like cooling down anytime soon, growers around the country are turning to varieties that don’t just tolerate the heat, but genuinely relish it. Sicily’s nero d’avola has been leading the pack for sun-loving varieties, rapidly inserting itself into the thinking of growers, winemakers and drinkers alike, with the number of plantings and bottled expressions expanding exponentially. When you think that the first Australian example was only made around 15 years ago, it’s an extraordinary rise. We gathered every Australian Nero d’Avola we could find and set our expert panel the task of finding the wines that compelled the most. All wines were tasted blind, and each panellist named their top six wines.

  • Searching for the Best Grenache in McLaren Vale

    McLaren Vale – arguably the finest Australian territory for the grape – now leading the charge for making grenache in a considered way, with many of the wines of the past – which were often dry and rustic or were dominated by confected raspberry notes – being replaced with wines that can be fragrantly pretty. These expressions broke new ground in Australia, and are fast building a global reputation for this variety, from this region. We gathered every McLaren Vale Grenache we could find and set our expert panel the task of finding the wines that compelled the most. All wines were tasted blind, and each panellist named their top six wines.

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  • Andrew Caillard’s Landmark History of Australian Wine

    The Australian Ark: The Story of Australian Wine from 1788 to the Modern Era, authored by Andrew Caillard MW, is a monumental three-volume book that encapsulates the expansive history of Australian wine. We caught up with Andrew to discuss the agony and the ecstasy of this undertaking, Australia’s forgotten wine past, his Master of Wine journey, and the six people from Australia’s wine history that he’d love to gather for a dinner party…

  • Pinot Noir – 2024 YGOW Awards Feature

    There is no doubt that pinot noir has not only firmly entrenched itself in the Australian wine drinking psyche, but it is also starting to build distinct regional and sub-regional identities guided by the hands of confident makers, such as the the 2024 YGOW Awards Top 50, which features Marco Lubiana, Aunt Alice, Jean Bouteille, Tillie J, Musical Folk, Mac Forbes, Port Phillip Estate, J & S Fielke, Musical Folk, Port Phillip Estate, Portsea Estate, XO Wine Co., Turon, Scanlon and Utzinger Wines.

  • Shiraz or Syrah – 2024 YGOW Awards Feature

    Shiraz or syrah? Call it what you will, the grape is our most planted and arguably our most emblematic, both locally and on the world stage. The shiraz landscape has become very nuanced, with huge variances in light and shade due to region, site, vintage and the sensibilities of makers. Winemakers in the 2024 YGOW Awards Top 50 demonstrate the gentler shades of shiraz through wines from Agricola, Cape Jaffa Wines, Little Frances, Juliard, Honky Chateau, Guthrie, Alkimi and Mise En Place.

  • Riesling – 2024 YGOW Awards Feature

    Traditionally, Australian riesling was known for its sharp citrus profile, and tooth-aching acidity. But today the grape is being expressed in a myriad of new ways under the care of both seasoned and new winemakers. Winemakers in the 2024 YGOW Awards Top 50 include Worlds Apart Wines, Werkstatt, Kenny Wine, Mountadam Vineyards, Chalari, Mac Forbes Wines and Meredith. Wines from these producers are a signal to Australia’s modern riesling renaissance, bringing exciting takes on a classic variety, where a sense of ‘texture’ from riesling in the glass is perhaps the new common theme.

  • Italian Varietals – 2024 YGOW Awards Feature

    Only in the past two decade or two have Italian grape varieties been especially embraced in Australia. Today, grapes such as sangiovese, nebbiolo, dolcetto, nero d’avola and vermentino – and the list goes on – are increasingly thriving on our shores, mostly in warmer climates, meeting modern drinking preferences where a sense of ‘freshness’ in wine is key. Winemakers in the 2024 YGOW Awards Top 50 underscore this emergence, through wines from Alpha Box and Dice, Wangolina, Kenny Wine, Chalari, Intrepidus, Aristotelis Ke Anthoula, M&J Becker, Fervor, Alessandro Stefani, and Patch Wines.

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“If we went back 10 years, the relationship between sugar and acidity would be a lot more obvious – all over the shop. There’d be sugar here, acid there, and things would not be anywhere near as in balance as a lot of the wines we saw today.”

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