Sebastian Crowther is a Master Sommelier, a beverage director for top Melbourne restaurants Rockpool, Rosetta and Spice Temple, and a wine consultant, educator and buyer. Here he shares the six Australian wines he's most excited about now.
Australia abounds with a distinguished wine history. It has iconic producers and wine styles, but that doesn’t mean it has stopped its search. New styles and regions are continuing to emerge, and it's from these that we're seeing some of the most exciting wines being produced.
Sebastian Crowther's ultimate Aussie six-pack
1. 2016 La Violetta ‘Das Sakrileg’ Riesling
Andrew Hoadley, based in the remote region of Great Southern in Western Australia, is turning out some exciting wines. This riesling is not the ‘classic’ Australian style. It's fermented in old oak and as such has great texture and layers of complexity, while remaining fresh and delicious. It makes a change from the squeaky clean, austere styles often produced.
RRP $33 | Great Southern | La Violetta Wines
2. 2015 Garagiste ‘Merricks’ Chardonnay
A grape that’s synonymous with the region. Chardonnay has been redefined in Australia over the last decade and this wine from Barney Flanders is leading the charge into the future. A cool-climate style, flinty with tension, poise and mineral depth. This is the new Australia!
RRP $45 | Mornington Peninsula | Garagiste
3. 2015 Sinapius ‘Home Vineyard’ Pinot Noir
Tasmania's cool climate is an exciting thing for our industry, but it’s young, fresh and spritely producers like Vaughn and Linda from Sinapius who are putting the icing on the cake. Well cared for vineyards combined with clever winemaking have resulted in thrilling wines. They don’t stand alone on this small island.
RRP $55 | Northern Tasmania | Sinapius Vineyard
4. 2014 Mount Mary ‘Quintet’ Cabernet Sauvignon
I feel like cabernet sauvignon has become unfashionable. But at a time when we are producing some of the finest styles on the planet, why?! Look no further than the 2014 from Mount Mary, which is true of the new style; elegant, classy and sophisticated.
RRP $145 | Yarra Valley | Mount Mary
5. 2015 Ravensworth Shiraz Viognier
Bryan Martin puts considerable effort into crafting some of the wines at his neighbour's place, Clonakilla, but it’s under his own label Ravensworth that he is gaining real attention. This is new wave Australian shiraz (viognier) at its best. Perfumed and glorious, while medium-bodied and delicious.
RRP $36 | Canberra District | Ravensworth
6. 2007 House of Arras Grand Vintage
Sparkling wine has been a difficult category for Australia, as the shadow of Champagne has always loomed over it. But with Ed Carr at the helm, House of Arras has put Australian sparkling on the map. These wines have layers of complexity, depth and concentration. The palate is seamless, the acidity fine, and the flavour goes on and on. These are not simple summer sippers, but gastronomic wines to spend time pondering. The time has come for Australian sparkling!
RRP $70 | Northern Tasmania | Bay of Fires
The Defining Australian Wine series is produced with thanks to our brand partner Winery Lane, an online marketplace designed to unite wine lovers with independent winemakers. Click here to watch Winery Lane’s Stephen Mobbs tackle the topic of what makes an archetypally Aussie wine.
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