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Australia popularised the varietal brand Shiraz throughout the 90s, however its spiritual home is the village of Tain, in France's Northern Rhône Valley. Australia is famed for the more robust fuller-bodied expressions emanating from warmer parts of SA. More recently we have seen more medium-bodied spicy interpretations from cooler regions across the country.Learn more about Shiraz
Known as The King of red grapes, due to its statuesque tannins and phenomenal age-worthiness. The most significant red grape of Bordeaux (France), where it is the cornerstone of the classic Bordeaux Blend featuring most typically Merlot, along with others. This style is emulated around the world, including Australia, though Cabernet also appears solo.Learn more about Cabernet Sauvignon
Considered by many winemakers to be the pinnacle of red grapes, due to its elusive nature, intoxicating aromas and unparalleled complexity. Deceptively light in colour, Pinot favours cooler vineyard sites. Outside its spiritual home of Burgundy (France), Australia vies with New Zealand and Oregon USA for best producer.Learn more about Pinot Noir
Possibly the most famous and highly-prized red wine blend of all, originating from Bordeaux France, responsible for many of the world's most expensive and sought-after wines. The impressive structure of Cabernet Sauvignon, whilst Merlot gives it flesh & middle-palate richness, delivering a wine that is supremely ageworthy & complex. The style is emulated with much success around the world including Italy, USA and Australia.
A uniquely Australian blend, the grapes originating from different regions of France and as such, not historically blended. Wines produced include some of Australia's most iconic and ageworthy reds including; Penfolds Bin 389, Yalumba The Signature and select vintages of Penfolds Grange.
In its spiritual home of Bordeaux (France) and elsewhere, Merlot primarily plays a support role to Cabernet, where it is prized for the soft tannin profile it brings to the classic Bordeaux Blend. However as a standalone expression, it can reach greatness on the Right-Bank of Bordeaux or approachable commercial expressions further afield.Learn more about Merlot
Not a grape variety, rather a style of wine named for its colour, gaining significant global popularity in recent years. Rosé can be made from many grape varieties in a number of ways, resulting in dry or off-dry delicate pale pink aromatic or savoury table or sparkling wines, through to juicy spicy expressions.Learn more about Rosé
The most popular red blends in Australia today include a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot (or Bordeaux blend as it is colloquially known, due to its French heritage), Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre or GSM blends (a nod to France's Southern Rhône) or Australia's own classic Cabernet Shiraz blends (see Cabernet Shiraz).
In the past sweet wines, including sweet reds, were very fashionable - including Maglieri Lambrusco one of Australia's best-selling wines until the late 1980s. However tastes change, and with the increasingly worldly Australian wine & food consumer, we witnessed a move towards the dry table wine styles.
The blending of Shiraz and the white grape Viognier originates from France's Northern Rhône, where both grapes are fermented together, producing some intriguing results - including more extraction of colour from the Shiraz skins, velvet-like tannins and alluring perfume. The style has been emulated successfully in Australia, most notably with Clonakilla's Shiraz Viognier.
Highly-regarded in both France and Spain (Garnacha), both as a key player in spicy blends, or as a standalone expression. In Australia, Grenache has historically been seen as something of a poor cousin to Shiraz, primarily used for port-style wine production, however in recent years has begun to receive the recognition it deserves.
Australia is famed for innovation and perhaps none more so than the bag-in-box or Chateau Cardboard as it is has been nick-named, popularised in the 1970s. The convenience of this container, which prevents oxidation, saw wine widely adopted into homes across the nation. Most of the popular mainstream red wine varieties can be found in this format.
The success of the Australian wine industry may have been almost entirely on French wine varieties, including Chardonnay and Shiraz, however in recent years we have also seen the emergence of other worthy European varieties, including Italy's Sangiovese and Spain's Tempranillo.