A Fine Drop

The effort to decipher the elements of a good wine, and indeed acquire a palate for the task of assessing wine, is complicated, mesmeric, and dependent on precision. Hara Carragher looks at the characteristics of award-winning wine and reveals the top ten most highly-acclaimed Australian wines of the 21st century.

Over the last two centuries, the Australian wine market has steadily grown, and due to the wines’ quality and diversity, has taken the international wine market by storm. What makes any wine exceptional rests on a vast number of factors including the location and topography of the vineyard, soil type and quality, biological structure of the grapes themselves, and the process in which the grapes were fermented. To define the qualities of an exceptional wine, Wineries of South Australia speaks with renowned wine writer and boutique wine distributer Patrick Walsh, who has worked for ten years as a sommelier and reveals the requisite constituent of an award-winning wine.


An exceptional wine should hold balance in its complexity and be seamless in its overall demeanour.

“You’re looking for wines that have a true sense of place; wines that are balanced, wines that have intensity of flavour and concentration,” says Walsh.

In order to identify the qualities of an exceptional wine, it’s essential to look at the characteristics that the vintage holds.