From the tasting team

Ned Goodwin MW on the style evolution of Australian wine

By Ned Goodwin MW

17 Feb, 2022

Ned Goodwin MW considers Australia’s shift away from big, overtly fruit-sweet wines to those where structure and texture are front and centre.

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While on a trip to Australia, British wine writer Andrew Jefford once wrote: “The two things I miss most so far are red wines with a pH much over 3.5 combined with low [natural] acidity, and red wines with ripe, chewy, textural and flavoursome tannins; Australia as a nation seems to have abjured both.” This was some time ago, and while I largely agreed with his sentiment then, times have mercifully changed.

An aversion to the sort of structure (acidity and tannins, in basic terms) that occurs naturally in terroir-driven, less invasively crafted wines was too often obfuscated by an obsession with primary fruit and the sort of richly flavoured, bumptious wines that, back then, European producers were said to be unable to make. This was the Australian opus; a wine industry built from the ‘sunshine in a bottle’ bottom up.