Australian wine writer Max Allen wrote an interesting article in the Weekend Australian Magazine July 4-5, 2009 on the influential wine critic Robert Parker Jr of the Wine Advocate publication. Parker is widely known for his penchant for the "big red", with lashings of ripeness and oak thrown in. Over the past decade Parker embraced the big blockbuster style coming out of several South Australian wineries and gave them near or perfect scores in the Wine Advocate. Naturally enough this lead to a surge in popularity and sales for these Australian wines and as a consequence many other Australian wineries followed suit. Australia developed a reputation for producing monster Shiraz and for some time enjoyed the benefits of the huge popularity of this style. As Max Allen stated in his article, times have changed and consumers have turned away from the big over-oaked style of Shiraz, instead looking for elegance and greater fruit expression in their wines. Unfortunately for Australian wineries, the once beneficial reputation they earnt for producing big red wines has stuck despite a strong local trend towards producing more fruit driven wines. Many global wine consumers are not aware that Australia actually produces a diverse range of red wine styles so Australia is currently at risk of being considered a one trick pony.
To overcome this opinion may be a long journey for the Australian wine industry. There are plenty of wineries producing fantastic wines which definitely do not fall into Robert Parker Jn's big red style however we need to get the message out to the rest of the wine drinking world.