The same is true about their wines. From the bombastic Shiraz' of Barossa to the delicately oaked Chardonnays of Margaret River; Australia has become the go-to face of wine on a global scale. Since James Busby brought Rhone fruit to the Valleys of Barossa's flat lands in the 1830s, Australia has advanced their wine industry at a pace that makes France and Italy(heck even us) look like viticultural snails. Owing current vintage zip to a painfully long drought, the newer versions of the classics are pulling back that over lacquered, port like juice and coming out with the perfect reservations we expect from everyday wine. I love love love the juice that Chris Ringland puts out, and now that he is on as the winemaker for Marquis-Phillips, it's only getting better. A good deal of his wines see oaking in French rather than American, and in this writer's opinion they're all the better for it. American Oak has nearly 4 times the lactone content that French does, and it really shoots the fruit into orbit. Though most Barossa Shiraz sees American Coopering, the ones that get a solid French Connection are my personal favorites. Look for the Number 9 Shiraz, it's got just enough Currant and Cassis up front, but the mid palette is a mix of tahitian vanilla bean and humidor spice.
Seriously, check out the land down under, it's a fair deal and it's a tasty one.