Confused by the 'Top 100' Aussie wines list

I must admit to being slightly confused by Matthew Jukes’ Top 100 Australian Wines list, which has just been released here.

It’s a funny mix of genuinely exciting high-end wines, and also more run-of-the-mill, well made commercial offerings. In the former category I’d count the likes of  Yabby Lake’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Cullen’s Diana Madeleine, Leeuwin Chardonnay and Teusner Riebke FG. In the latter, we have Jacob’s Creek fizz and Sauvignon Blanc, Yalumba Y Series Shiraz/Viognier, De Bortoli Windy Peak Chardonnay and St Hallett Gamekeepers Reserve.

I don’t understand it. It certainly isn’t a list of Australia’s Top 100 wines, even if you add the qualifier that the wine has to be available in the UK. It’s more a list of 100 Australian wines that Matthew likes at a range of price points.

If I were an Aussie wine producer making exceptional wine, available in the UK, but not in this list, I’d feel a bit miffed that some of the less interesting offerings in this list are potentially taking my place. And there’s nothing to indicate to consumers that the wines in this list aren’t actually Australia’s 100 best.

11 comments to Confused by the ‘Top 100′ Aussie wines list

  • keith prothero

    Who takes such a list seriously?
    Giaconda Warner Vineyard shiraz not on the list, amongst many others.
    Still its only Matthew Jukes and I am not sure who takes him seriously.

  • John Smith

    What a ridiculous comment.
    Matthew Jukes is one of the leading experts on Australian wine, and knows a damn sight more about the subject than Jamie Goode ever will.

  • That’s my main problem with the list, Keith. There are dozens and dozens of incredible wines that aren’t on the list, with some good commercial wines taking their place. Had it been specified that this was a commercial selection, then I’d understand it. But even then, there are some quite serious, hard-to-find wines included. It all seems a bit arbitrary, and there are many familiar names on the list that probably don’t deserve to be there.

  • John Smith, Matthew is certainly an expert with in-depth knowledge. But this is why his Top 100 perplexes me: he’s gone and produced a list that makes him look like he doesn’t have a thorough understanding of the Australian wine scene. Why?

  • And, ‘John Smith’, you share the same IP address as someone else who has commented on this blog before – real names, please, in the future.

  • Tony Fikkers

    Matthew Jukes is in no way an expert on Australian wine, I’ve never seen a list compiled by him that represents a quality cross section of Australian wine. The last list I read that was put together by Matthew was a Decanter ‘top Aussie Pinot’ list that included every wine in the De Bortoli portfolio, what a joke! I believe that De Bortoli does represent great value across the board but to put Windy Peak forward as a ‘top’ Aussie Pinot is laughable. By the way ‘John Smith’, this is my real name, Tony.

  • Mark

    Wouldn’t ever consider taking Mr Jukes too seriously myself. I mean, he writes for the daily Hell, doesn’t he? :-)

  • You just have to look at the sweet and fortified list to realize that Jukes has not made a serious effort. Take this listing with a gain of salt,and a big belly laugh.

  • Ralph

    Any list compiled by just one person doesn’t represent “the best” a country has to offer. That would mean that Matthew would have tasted every single Australian wine there is and that is just impossible. There are a lot of great wines in the list, but then again, some clunkers too.

  • Doug Bond

    Is it possible he has criteria for selecting within the 100: eg specifying a certain number of wines at a given price point, a certain number for different varieties, a certain number that are widely distributed, etc?

    If you combine this with the subjectivity of any such list it might explain the seeming randomness of it. I guess the main thing is not to take it too seriously and see it simply as a list of 100 wines from Australia that Matthew Jukes thinks are worth trying. Doesn’t have quite the same marketing ring to it as the 100 best though.

  • Russ Sainty

    I found the list last year quite useful to be honest. A loosely followed wish list, picking out wines I might otherwise miss. If Mr Jukes is really saying these are the greatest Ozzy wines well that’s very subjective anyway. But I’m already lining up a couple from this years list to try. Same as I am for that southern french red Jamie reccoed.

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