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Copyright © 2015
Forkmedia LLC

by Fred McMillin
for October 2000

Monterra Merlot

Flopping or Flourishing??

The Aussie Invasion


Carramar, McPherson, Hope...Australian wines that may be new to you. How do they stack up against California wines of the same varietal and same price?

The wines from down under looked pretty competitive in our tasting reported in last January's Annex. Was that a fluke? To check further, we set up another dozen matches, with nine different Australian wineries represented. My partner, Edgar Vogt, carefully covered all the bottles. Here are the results.

The wine that won its match by the largest margin is listed last. (Margin is the number of votes given the winner minus the votes for the loser.) I have the margins tabulated but have not uncovered the bottles, so we'll both learn what happened as we go.


The Twelve Winners

Winning Margin Winner Price Year The Wine
  Aussie Calif.      
10 X   $16 '95 Taltarni Cabernet Sauvignon Victoria, Australia
25 X   $10 '99 Rosemount Cabernet Sauvignon South East Australia
47 X   $13 '99 Taltarni Sauvignon Blanc Victoria, Australia
54 X   $17 '97 Giants Creek Chardonnay Hunter Valley, Australia
56 X   $9 '99 Carramar Estate Shiraz South East Australia
59   X $12 '98 Robert Mondavi Coastal Pinot Noir, Central Coast, Cal.
69 X   $9 '98 Jacob's Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, South East Australia
78   X $10 '96 Monterra Merlot, Monterey, Cal., (pictured)
87 X   $16 '96 Taltarni Cabernet Sauvignon Victoria, Australia
150   X $13 '97 Firestone Vineyard Chardonnay Santa Ynez Valley, Cal.
172 X   $13 '98 Wolf Blass Red Label Cab-Shiraz, Australia
278 X   $23 '99 McPherson Shiraz, South East Australia


Zounds! Australia wins 9 matches to 3. This invasion is getting serious.
Note that these are all modestly-priced bottles, $7 to $17. This does not tell us how Australia is doing above $20.


This page created October 2000