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Copyright © 2015
Forkmedia LLC

by Fred McMillin
for January 2000


Australia Versus California

Both Australia and California started producing wine about the same time...some two centuries ago. In over 30 years of conducting tastings, I've seen Aussie imports become more and more competitive, particularly when matched with California wines of the same price. To check the current situation, my panel tasted blind eight pair, each of the same price. Here are the winners. The highest-rated bottles are listed last.


    Winner Rating Price Vintage The Wine Rosemont Estate
8th - Australia 82 $8 '99 Jacob's Creek Chardonnay
7th - California 84 $19 '97 Renaissance Syrah
6th - California 85 $11 '96 Camelot Pinot Noir
5th - California 89 $10 '97 Chateau Julien Merlot
4th - Australia 90 $22 '98 Rosemount Show Reserve Chardonnay
3rd - Australia 91 $18 '97 G S M (Rhone blend), Rosemount
2nd - Australia 92 $30 '96 Rosemount, Mountain Blue Shiraz-Cab (pictured)
1st - Australia 93 $18 '96 Wolf Blass Presidents Selection Shiraz


1. At a given price,Australia may be making the best Shiraz (Syrah) in the world. Opposing opinions welcomed.

2. The 1999 date on the Jacob's Creek Chardonnay is not a misprint. The Australian harvest occurs in the SPRING, not the FALL.

3. Winning five matches out of eight, Australia is looking mighty good. Chile is supposed to be the hottest exporter as we start the new millennium but I'm putting my money on the Aussies this year.


This page created January 2000