Over 50-years ago, wine merchant Daniel Francis Murphy was locally sourcing and directly importing great wines from around the world for his hugely successful wine emporium. Today, the discerning wine merchant ethos continues with Dan Murphy’s offering a greater range of wines than ever and an expert Wine Panel who meet weekly to assess dozens of wines.
The Wine Panel loves to discover some of the world’s rarest and most sought-after wines. Some of these wines are inevitably stratospherically priced, however others are remarkably affordable as they are still on the ascendancy and yet to be fully appreciated for their contribution to the world of wine. Other wines, for whatever reason, remain grossly under-valued – the vagaries of fashion being what they are. Regardless of budget, here, Dan Murphy’s Wine Panel has specially featured some brilliant emerging and established wine styles, and why they think they deserve attention.
1. PREMIUM AUSTRALIAN CHARDONNAY
Australia now consistently produces the finest Chardonnay outside of Burgundy, and some consider this to be the best Australian example. Arguably there are now many more contenders for the title, but this is still achingly delicious and impressively ageworthy to boot (5-‐10 years+). A collector’s bonus, each vintage features unique artwork from a leading Australian artist. The 2010 Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay is just perfect with sustainable WA Marron.
2. CULT BAROSSA SHIRAZ
When influential US wine writer Robert Parker Jr. gave Chris Ringland’s 3 Rivers Shiraz the perfect 100-‐point score in the early 90s, history was made. Virtually overnight the demand for high-‐ octane, modern-‐style Barossa Shiraz went haywire. Certainly this wine still is still not for the faint-‐ hearted and whilst some traditionalists might decry its modern orthodox style, this modern art is here to stay.
3. AGED HUNTER VALLEY SEMILLON
If Riesling is Australia’s most underrated grape variety, then Hunter Valley Semillon would be the obvious title holder for our most underrated regional wine style. Aside from Riesling there are few unoaked (or oaked) white wine styles in the world that have the ability to age for years, let alone decades. Hunter Valley Semillon is one such wine. At 5-‐years of age this multi-‐award winning, lime-‐marmalade toasty number is just beginning to sing. It is an absolutely delicious example of superb Semillon.
4. AGED RIOJA REDS FROM SPAIN
Spain’s warm dry climate produces wines of enormous appeal, often also capable of significant cellar-‐age. Spain’s super-‐star is Tempranillo, akin to Australia’s own Shiraz – richly flavoured and approachable when young, structured and complex with age. The region of Rioja is akin to our own Barossa Valley in both historical significance and wine quality. This beautifully packaged wine, from one of the oldest estates, is one of the region’s finest examples. Wine writer Huon Hooke certainly thought so – he recently rated it 95/100. Cellared for almost a decade prior to release, it is drinking superbly, though will age for many more years to come (Now-‐2050+). Discover one of the greatest Spanish red wines in the 2004 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Rioja.
5. 2004 VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE
Champagne is still the king of sparkling wine, responsible for the finest and most ageworthy examples on the planet. Many commentators rate the quality of Lanson Vintage favourably against Grand Marque Champagnes costing hundreds of dollars per bottle, and Dan Murphy’s is able to offer this truly outstanding Champagne house at unprecedented prices. 2004 is widely regarded as one of the finest vintages of the last few decades. Although thrillingly fresh now, if well cellared, it will make the ideal 21st, 30th or even 50th anniversary celebratory tipple. Champagne of this quality will likely never be as affordable again.