Fair Drinkum

The Australians have a phrase that, unfortunately, hasn't caught on like 'Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbi'.  Firstly, they're called Prawns, and they throw snags(sausages) on the Barbi.  Secondly, the phrase 'Fair Dinkum' better sums up the Aussie, care free mentality.  Fair Dinkum means, 'Fair Deal' or 'Holy Cow, how great'.  It's used to fully communicate that sometimes it's not too good to be true.
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.

1 comment:

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