The Ten Best: Australian wines


1 Yarrabank Brut Cuvée £18.25

This is a great sparkling wine that is made in the same way as traditional champagne . Yarrabank is one of my favourite wines and the 2001 release is the one to buy. It comes from the Yarra Valley and has all the hallmarks of a really good champagne, but without the scary price tag.

www.philglas-swiggot.co.uk; 020-7402 0002

2 Polish Hill Riesling £16

Risling has had a bit of an image crisis over the last two decades. Today's rieslings are very different from those most people remember, and not at all sweet. A producer called Grosset, from the Clare Valley in South Australia produces one of the ones I like the best. The year to look out for is 2005. www.australianwinesonline.co.uk; 01772 422 996

3 Tyrells Vat 1 Semillon £19.99

Semillon grapes have found a good home in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, and this delicious wine is the one I'd recommend from there. When it's very young, the wine is really citrussy and quite aggressive. Once it's developed it smells beautiful - rich and fruity like English marmalade - and it's delicious.

www.winedirect.co.uk; 01323 846 238

4 Giaconda Chardonnay £29.95

A fresh, nutty chardonnay from one of the best producers in Australia - and the world. The makers are less concerned with what their neighbours are doing and more concerned about making the best examples of chardonnay. As a result, this wine isn't like the oaky Chardonnay people love to hate, it's fresh and nutty. www.bbr.com; 08709 004 300

5 Charles Melton Rose of Virginia Rosé £12.50

Rosé is having a huge revival at the moment. Charles Melton in the Barossa Valley named this one after his wife. It's made from old vine grenache so there's lots of acidity and colour in the wine. It is dark, refreshing, smells of raspberries and is bone dry. A perfect summer wine.

www.philglas- swiggot.co.uk; 020-7402 0002

6 Kooyong Pinot Noir £15.95

New Zealand is regarded as being the home of Pinot outside of Burgundy in France but the cooler, more southerly parts of Australia are doing some good things too. Sandro Mosele is based in the Mornington Peninsula and he makes this amazing pinot noir. It's silky, not too heavy, and smells of strawberries.

www.londonfinewine.co.uk; 020-7244 0522

7 Zonte's Footstep Shiraz Viognier £7.99

This wine blends two types of grapes - red and white. It has become increasingly popular in Australia over the last five years. Zonte's Footstep is my preferred shiraz voignier blend and it was one of my wines of the year last year. It has a wonderful apricot and orange aroma.

www.sainsburys.co.uk; 08009 174 092

8 Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet £36.50

Here's a highly prized big red that's a blend of cabernet and merlot. Be warned; it needs to go in the cellar for at least five years to unwind. It's one of the best Cabernets produced in Australia and every year when it comes out it's snapped up. A real investment wine.

www.philglas-swiggot.co.uk; 020-7402 0002

9 Brown Brothers Moscato £4.74

When Italians emigrated to Australia in the 1950s they brought moscato with them. Now sweet wine has become an Australian speciality, and this moscato produced by the Brown Brothers in the King Valley, Northern Victoria a great example. It is slightly fizzy, has about 5 per cent alcohol and is a perfect way to finish a meal. www.tesco.com; 08457 225 533

10 Chambers Rutherglen Muscat £9.29

In Rutherglen, Victoria, delicious fortified wine is made out of heavily raisined grapes. They're squeezed and release a sugary juice that is fortified with spirits to create wine. People worry about how to drink sweet wines but the best way I've found is to drizzle a bit over vanilla ice cream if you aren't convinced by drinking a glassful.

www.nywines.co.uk; 01223 844 744

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