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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

'You'd think I'd questioned the manhood of half the blokes in South Australia,' says TIM ATKIN MW of the Aussies' rather hostile reaction to his suggestion that 'cheap Australian wine was in danger of turning into the Liebfraumilch of the 21st century'. But Atkin is undeterred, declaring: 'Any consumer who buys one of the big Aussie brands at its full retail price is a fool.' It's not all bad news, though: Atkin cushioned the blow with a visit to the recent Australia Day tasting and the concession that, while the big brands may have let things slip in the cheap stakes, the more expensive (10+) category 'illustrated the complexity, diversity and downright quality of what Australia has to offer'. Good examples include 2003 Suckfizzle Sauvignon/Semillon, Margaret River (15.99; Alliance Wines) and 2002 Penley Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra (25; Moreno Wines).