Selma, living in No. California (Sonoma Valley wine country) as I do, I have really come to respect the Aussie wines. The Shiraz (our Syrah) is particularly good. They also produce excellent cabernets, which are often blended with the Shiraz. Australia has an excellent growing climate for wine and they have "imported" many top winemakers to give them a jump start. They are, unfortunately guilty of dumping some el-cheapo wine here in the US which frankly, exacerbated the wine glut and price erosion of the US product...I think they call that "competition" and the consumer wins.
In any event, back as far as 2000, 600 Australian wines were reviewed in Wine Spectator's San Francisco office. Here's what they said:
"Shiraz weighed in with three of the top four new releases. The Penfolds South Australia Grange 1994 (96, $165) led the way, offering plenty of berry, pepper and anise nuances. Still in the classic range, Elderton Barossa Command 1995 (95, $60) and Henschke Keyneton Hill of Grace 1994 (95, $150) reinforce the dominance of Shiraz, while the Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz Barossa Valley E&E Black Pepper 1997 (94, $65) displayed its characteristic spice flavors, rating only slightly lower than the profound 1996 (97, $60), reviewed last fall.
That Australia's workhorse grape has come of age or at least commands the respect it deserves is proven by the fact that 10 of the top 15 wines are pure Shiraz or contain a significant proportion of it in their blend. Furthermore, several estates tasted for the first time made top-flight reds from Shiraz. Lake Breeze, Nurihannam, Parson's Flat, Henry's Drive, Pertaringa, Pirramimma, Kilikanoon, Killibinbin, Australian Domaine Wines, Larrikin and Lengs & Cooter represent a handful of new Shiraz producers to watch."
So...drink what you like and like what you drink. In vino veritas
"Leave it better than you found it"