Grab Your Glass: This is Officially the Best Wine in Australia

By Karissa Straughen. 

Internationally regarded ranking of Australian wine launches in Langton’s 30th anniversary year. 

The 2018 Langton’s Classification VII, released today, showcases Australia’s 136 best performing and most treasured wines, with 13 new entrants making their way into the list. Penfolds Grange Shiraz holds on to the title of Australia’s most collectible wine thanks to its historic importance and legendary performance at auction.

Grab Your Glass: This is Officially the Best Wine in Australia
Penfolds Grange holds on to top spot in Langton's Classification VII.

Released every four years, the Classification is considered to be the highest accolade an Australian wine can achieve, and highlights the development and growing demand for Australian fine wine. This edition covers 30 years of influence, charting the progress of Australian wine through three decades of auction market trading.
 
The Classification VII ranks wines in three categories, Exceptional, Outstanding and Excellent. The classification is compiled by analysing the track record of fine wine in Australia’s leading wine auction market, including prices and volume of demand over a long period of time. It is an utterly unique rating system based on consumer demand rather than a single opinion, and therefore rates more accurately Australia’s finest wines.

Jeremy Parham, Langton’s General Manager said, "With over 450,000 bottles of wine and 600,000 bids analysed, the wines in the Classification are a true reflection of the most collected and in demand wines produced in Australia. Penfolds Grange has again solidified its position as Australia’s most collectible wine. It has also been exciting to see new entrants such as Deep Woods and Oliver’s Taranga make the list.”

Grab Your Glass: This is Officially the Best Wine in Australia
Langton's Classification VII, Heritage Five Wines.
 
The Classification also includes the first ever Heritage Five category, which lists the very best wines within the Exceptional category and along with Penfolds Grange, includes Henschke Hill of Grace, Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, Mount Mary Quintet Cabernet Blend and Wendouree Shiraz, reflecting their celebrated status and ground-breaking influence within Australia’s fine wine scene.
 
Andrew Caillard MW, Langton’s co-founder, said, "The purpose of Langton’s Classification is to generate consumer confidence in Australian fine wine by highlighting the auction performance and reputation of the country’s leading collectible or cellaring style wines. It has followed the progress of the ultra-fine Australian wine scene since 1990 and provides collectors with a unique insight into the market.”
Grab Your Glass: This is Officially the Best Wine in Australia

Tamara Grischy, Langton’s Head of Wine Auctions, said, "The release of the 7th Edition marks 30 years of Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine. This is a landmark achievement, reflecting three decades of building a secondary market for fine Australian wine. Classification VII also tells the story of our heritage, the significance of vineyard sites and the progression of generations. It is also a form guide for avid collectors and everyday wine drinkers who are looking to buy and enjoy Australia’s most revered wines.”

Grab Your Glass: This is Officially the Best Wine in Australia
Langton's Classification VII, Shiraz Selection.
 
Red grape varietals dominate the Langton’s Classification VII, taking 85 per cent (117) of the coveted positions. Intensely flavoured Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, from Australia’s classic wine regions are continued favourites. Victorian Pinot Noir also makes a strong appearance, reflecting the increasing popularity of this variety. Jeremy Parham, Langton’s General Manager said, "While the market still loves Shiraz and Cabernet, consumers are recognising the age of our vineyards, the dedication of our winemakers and diversity of wine styles. It is exciting to
see the historic Best’s Great Western Thompson’s Reserve Shiraz, based on 1868 vines, join the Exceptional category. It is a wonderful example of the Australian fine wine aesthetic.”

A number of elegant Chardonnays have been recognised, with three new additions to the Classification, including Cullen Kevin John Chardonnay, Oakridge Estate 864 Chardonnay and Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay. This widely loved varietal also made it into the Heritage Five, with the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay honoured for its historic influence.

South Australia leads Classification VII with 75 wines, largely thanks to the continued ascendancy of the Barossa Valley. Classification VII also recognises Australia’s classic wine regions including Margaret River, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley and the emerging Canberra District.
 
Langton’s will take the Classification around the country from Saturday 1 September, giving wine lovers the unique opportunity of tasting, comparing and contrasting over 130 of Australia’s finest wines in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. All participants will be given the highly collectible Classification VII book, published in hardback by Hardie Grant. Find out more about these extraordinary events and book a spot www.langtons.com.au/events.The wines listed in Classification VII will be available to purchase through Langton’s
online auctions from September.

2018 honour roll key call outs:

  • It’s good news for red wine drinkers: Red varietals take 85 per cent (117) of the coveted positions.
  • Move over prosecco: Rockford Black Sparkling Shiraz is the only sparkling to make the list, as Aussies preferred celebratory tipple.
  • A toast to women in wine: Over 40% of Exceptional Classified wines have women at the helm, as winemakers, growers or CEOs.
  • Classification categories explained: Wines are ranked as Exceptional, Excellent or Outstanding based on their performance at auction and a history of 10 vintages.