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"The Wall Street Beat"

  by Fred McMillin


View from Sierra Vista Winery


Wall Street Journal: "Many Australian Chardonnays under $20 have more character than many similarly priced American Chardonnays."


The Rest of the Story

In view of the Journal's opinion, we decided to compare a broader spectrum of Australian wines with similarly priced California wines, all carefully sacked to conceal their identity. There were eight pair, and here are the winners. The wine winning by the largest margin is listed last.

Winning Margin
(% over loser's score)
Winner Price Year The Wine
8th - 17% Australia $11 '98 Cabernet Sauvignon by Rosemount
7th - 19% California $9 '98 Chardonnay (Sundial) by Fetzer
6th - 29% Australia $19 '96 Traditional (Cab, etc.) by Rosemount
5th - 45% Australia $15 '96 Shiraz (Syrah) by Jacob's Creek
4th - 48% Australia $23 '96 Shiraz Show Reserve by Rosemount
3rd - 61% California $13 '96 Chardonnay by Sebastiani
2nd - 82% California $9 '96 Syrah by Monterra Promise
Winner - 93% California $18 '97 Syrah by Sierra Vista (pictured)


Four winners apiece. So these data agree with the Journal that Australian wines of the same varietal and price are certainly competitive with those of California. Golden State boosters will probably claim an edge, since their four won by an average of 64% while the Aussie winning margin averaged only about half as much at 35%. My own policy...buy whichever one is on special.


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