Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Thirst developing for Australian fine wine

Penfolds Grange, once Australia’s only serious investment wine, now leads an ever-growing list of Australian fine wines regularly traded for both profit and pleasure. “Limited supply, reputation and sheer quality have thrust many of Australia’s best wines onto the world stage,” Andrew Caillard MW of Australia’s leading auction house Langton’s told the drinks business.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Australian wine critic for Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, believes Torbreck RunRig, made by David Powell (pictured), is now on a par with Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace in terms of “blue chip” global investment potential.

Caillard meanwhile, singles out Ben Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz and Kalleske Shiraz as two up-and-coming fine wines to watch, with Kalleske Johann Georg Shiraz, Two Hands Ares Shiraz and Mitolo GAM Shiraz also performing well at auction.

“Rockford Basket Press Shiraz and Clarendon Hills Astralis are attracting a strong volume of bidding, while Wendouree Shiraz, a notoriously difficult wine to purchase on release, is going gangbusters and Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier is enjoying a prolonged honeymoon with buyers,” Caillard said.

“Even the whites, including Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, Giaconda Estate Chardonnay and Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, are selling well, along with historic wines such as 1962 Penfolds Bin 60A Cabernet-Shiraz. The depletion of rare Australian wine is astonishing – these old wines are being snapped up as reference points for tastings,” he added.

In the UK, Grange and Hill of Grace continue to lead the investment charge, with Two Hands Ares Shiraz and Mitolo GAM Shiraz both proving popular to a lesser degree. For Amelia Jukes, co-owner of boutique Australian fine wine importer Hallowed Ground, has seen unprecedented interest in Mornington Peninsula producer Paringa Estate’s single vineyard range.

Grand Cru-level The Paringa Single Vineyard Pinot Noir is selling particularly well at £325 (in bond) for a half-case through fine wine broker Bordeaux Index. “I decided to start shipping the wines to the UK and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get rid of them, but we’ve sold out of all three,” Jukes revealed.

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