At this time of year everyone tends to look backwards and think about the year gone. What were the good bits? Who made great wines? Who released a dumb, overpriced $180 red? Etc etc.
But I’m not going to rehash the past (though some nice wines here), as I want to instead dive straight into 2019. We must move forward, not backward (and ever twirling).
Here then are three things I’d like to see more of in Australian wine for 2019. They’re not bold predictions, just a few choice topics that have been swirling around in my head.
- Well priced light reds. On the back of wines like the delicious Oakridge Meunier, the light reds category/segment/whatever you want to call it promises much. Actually, it’s something the warm climes of Australia have always needed. Bright and juicy unoaked old vine Grenache? Hell yes. Svelte Yarra Gamay? Nice. Gentle Shiraz Pinot? Lovely. A point of contention, however – I’ve seen plenty of light reds where the retail price seems disconnected to the cost of production. Tank fermented, bang-it-out-in-3-months Adelaide Hills bitsa red blends for $45 is harder to justify.
- Less added acid. I know, I know, this is a vexed issue (and deadly boring). But I’ve lost count of how many reds (and whites for that matter) that I haven’t enjoyed as much as I should because they’re plainly tart. Things are changing – even in the tartaric hotspot of Coonawarra – but please, a red wine doesn’t need a perfect pH of 3.5 to be stable.
- More skin contact whites. I’m not talking just about orange wines, but more about how judicious skin contact can be of benefit. An emphasis on judicious, as I don’t think a raft of grippy wines is going to help. But there are so many interesting skin contact whites out there that are genuinely more textural, with more than just simple fruit. Worth more attention.
What would you like to see more of in 2019?