Why Does Matthew Jukes Think We Have An Amazing Aussie Wine Selection?

Posted August 09, 2016

Stacy Brody


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Meet Matthew Jukes: UK-based wine communicator and honorary Australian. He's been in the wine trade for almost 30 years, earning great recognition for his work in wine writing and communication. To his over 9 million readers, he delivers wine recommendations at all price points and from all over the world...and he has a great accent. This interview was quite a treat.

His work hasn't crossed the pond much.

Until now. It's time you familiarized yourself with the name Matthew Jukes. Columnist for the Daily Mail and Moneyweek, Jukes also writes extensive reports which he makes available on his website. Perhaps most notably, Jukes is a leader in promoting quality Australian wines. Each year, he issues his 100 Best Australian Wines Report. He also founded and continues to run the Great Australian Red Competition for Shiraz-Cabernet blends.

Did I just say Shiraz -Cabernet?

Yes. It may sound strange, blending Rhone and Bordeaux varieties, but Australia has a climate like neither Bordeaux nor Northern Rhone. So it works.

Wine expert Len Evans explained it to Jukes. And Jukes explained it to me.

In Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Sauvignon builds the skeleton, the frame, the structure. It's the backbone of the wine. Merlot gives the wine flesh, texture, richness. 

In most regions of Australia, it's too hot to produce Merlot of any elegance.

So the Aussies use Shiraz to flesh out their Cab and their Cab to structure their Shiraz. Australian Shiraz offers juicy blueberry and plum notes, not like lean peppery northern Rhone Syrah.

"It works a treat," says Jukes, which is why he has a whole competition devoted to finding the best Australian Shiraz-Cab blends and why the competition is called The Great Australian Red and also why I really enjoy talking to him. It works a treat.

Jukes has tasted a number of current vintage Shiraz-Cab blends during the 10 years he's been running this competition. He's also been lucky to sample some cellar selections, dating back to the early have of the 1900s. These wines have aged beautifully, proving that the Shiraz-Cab blend indeed "works a treat" and also that Australian wines can age.

Matt Jukes may be from the UK, but he is an Honorary Australian. He knows the best Down Under estates.

So, we thought we'd ask him to evaluate our Australian wine seletion.

He was impressed.


Why does Matthew Jukes think we have amazing Aussie offerings?

Because we have phenomenal Australian wines at price points from the collectible to the everyday.

In the premium category:

1. Leeuwin Art Series Margaret River Chardonay 2012

A great value at just under $70 and on par with serious white Burgundy and top-quality California Chardonnay

2. Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2014

This is the wine that put Australian Shiraz-Viognier on people's radar in the early 1990s. An iconic wine from an iconic estate. Jukes included Clonakilla and Leeuwin in his book on the world's 100 Most Iconic Wine Estates.

3. Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz 2013

A cult wine... Jukes isn't usually a cult wine kind of guy, noting that the term often refers to wines with "massive oak" and through-the-roof alcohol. This wine, however, defies those expectation. While richly styled, this wine keeps the brakes on. It is, for sure, big scaled, and elegant and sophisticated. Jukes has featured this wine in his works countless times.

Just getting your feet wet? Looking for the best values in Australian wine? There are plenty of amazing Aussie wines at everyday prices. Jukes picked out six to start:

1. Heartland Spice Trader Shiraz Cabernet 2012

There's that trademark blend again. This Shiraz-Cabernet is made by Ben Glaetzer of Amon-Ra fame...and it's only $10.97. This wine scored two trophies in the Great Australian Red competition. If Jukes got his way, there'd be an obnoxious, neon-lit arrow pointing this wine out as THE BEST VALUE

2. Thorne Clark Shotfire Quartage 2012

On this year's 100 Best Australian Wines list, the Shotfire Quartage is a blend of four red varieties (hence the name). It's modeled after the wines of Bordeaux, and, in Jukes's opinion, smashes any of them. His quandary remains, how do they build a wine this beautiful at this price point?

3. Robert Oatley Signature Series Margaret River Chardonnay 2014

Featured in last year's 100 Best Australian Wines report, this humble, entry-level Chardonay is made by a highly-decorated winemaker and grown on prime real estate. Beautifully made for the $15 price point.

4. Penfolds Koonunga Hills Shiraz-Cabernet 2014

This wine is crafted by one of Australia's most famous winemaking teams and is featured in Jukes's Daily Mail column more than any other wine. The price has hardly budged over the years he has recommended it - always affordable and reliably good.

5. Mitolo Jester Shiraz 2013

The entry-level wine of a winery that uses only estate-grown grapes, this is an enormous bottle for only $13.89. Polished, smooth and velvety, this wine has also been feautured in Jukes's 100 Best Report.

6. Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir 2015

To prove Australia can do it and they can do it well...produce Pinot Noir, that is.


Jukes is excited about our collection, from the premium wines he called the 3 MEGA reasons to shop with Wine Library to the seriously good everyday values in our collection. Isn't it time you started exploring Australian wine?


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Product Label.

Thorn Clark Shotfire Quartage

95 James Halliday - Australia...

Item: 84534

750 mL

Retail: $22.99

$13.99 per btl

Product Label.

Mitolo Shiraz Jester

92 James Halliday - Australia...

Item: 90876

750 mL

Retail: $20.99

$13.89 per btl

Product Label.

Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz

96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Robe...

Item: 92269

750 mL

Retail: $99.99

$73.73 per btl

Product Label.

Robert Oatley Signature Series Margaret...

94 James Halliday - Australia...

Item: 92973

750 mL

Retail: $19.99

$13.89 per btl

Product Label.

Leeuwin Art Series Margaret River...

97 James Halliday - Australia...

Item: 93066

750 mL

Retail: $79.99

$64.98 per btl

Product Label.

Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier

96 James Halliday - Australia...

Item: 93286

750 mL

Retail: $89.99

$67.94 per btl

Item: 93435

750 mL

Retail: $13.99

$9.99 per btl

Product Label.

Heartland Spice Trader Shiraz Cabernet

90 Robert Parker - Robert Par...

Item: 94926

750 mL

Retail: $12.99

$10.97 per btl

Item: 95793

750 mL

Retail: $22.99

$16.95 per btl