100 Best Australian Wines 2014/15
by Matthew Jukes
In the 11th Edition of Matthew Jukes’ 100 Best Australian Wines, 7 wines are imported exclusively by Old Bridge Cellars.
2007 Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillon, Hunter Valley, NSW
Brokenwood is no stranger to this list, but ILR has only appeared in the best-supporting and not the lead role. This is a stunning wine with mellifluous lime curd fruit and incredible length. You have to remind yourself that this is an unoaked, 11.5% alcohol wine. I haven’t tasted a finer Iain Leslie Riggs. Now you know why winemaker Riggsy opted to use his initials for this flagship wine rather than his full name!
2011 Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz, Hunter Valley, NSW
Graveyard is made by the awesomely talented wine guru Iain Riggs and it is one of Australia’s most feted wines. The awesome control, shimmering beauty and luxuriant texture put this wine among the very finest Shiraz in the world and with only 13% alcohol it truly possesses a Burgundy feel on the palate! Unnervingly forward (you can drink it now), it will age and gather even more forest-y and truffle-y notes over the next decade.
2013 Kilikanoon Mort’s Block Riesling, Watervale, Clare Valley, SA
Mort’sBlock is a fierce Riesling with a prickle of acidity running the length of its sleek, lime and green-herb-macerated chassis. The fruit pinches the palate as you drink this wine and it catches you by surprise and brings a smile to the corners of your mouth. I love the mind games in the glass. I know that this is a five to ten year wine. You will, too, when you drink it.
2012 Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay, Yarra Valley, Vic
The 2012 vintage is a cracker across Australia and in the Yarra the Chardonnays and Pinots have a vibrancy and panache which makes them easy to fall for. There are no less than six wines in the Giant Steps portfolio which are worthy of comment. Foresty, mineral, stemmy, perfumed and exotic there is all manner of complexity and excitement on offer in this trio. This is a large portfolio where every wine offers something different and fascinating, but my pick of the range this year is the 2012 Sexton Chardonnay which celebrates the fuller figure.
2010 Leeuwin Estate, Art Series Chardonnay, Margaret River, WA
There is a power/grace ratio here which defies belief. This is a big wine and it is stridently oaky, too. In my experience half of the room just likes Art Series Chardonnay and the other half falls at its feet like a blithering, mewing wreck (next to me). There is a fine dividing line and it is due to the quiet menace and elaborate build quality which is sometimes just too much for people to comprehend.
2011 Plantagenet Mount Barker Cabernet Sauvignon, Great Southern, WA
I haven’t seen this degree of purity and succulence from Plantagenet in the past and it is so well-judged and well-seasoned with cinnamon-scented oak and minty highlights I did something I rarely do – I drained the glass rather than spit. In fact, at the end of the tasting I went back for another. Congratulations Plantagenet on making such a harmonious and delectable wine.
2011 Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River, WA
Cullen, Wynns, Moss Wood, Penfolds and a few others are already making wines, to my mind, which genuinely rival the greatest on the planet. They may not have the longevity yet, but this will come. In the meantime, I would urge you to buy this wine and other top Aussie Cabernets now the tide is turning and the spotlight is tracking across the heavens towards Australia.