A surplus in production and plethora of cheap “fly-by-night” brands is likely to keep Australian wine stuck in a pricing doldrum this year, according to one of the country’s leading producers.
Speaking at this week’s Australia Day tastings in London, Phil Laffer, chief winemaker for Jacob’s Creek, said the current discounting climate would
prevent much upward movement on price. Jacob’s Creek is maintaining the same prices for its 2004 vintages as the previous year.
“There’s still too much wine slopping around in the system,” he said. “As we get back into balance, we will see the brands come back and the fly-by-nighters disappear. Prices may go up next year, but at the moment there seems to be a lot of marsupials springing up and surviving on selling very cheap wines in bulk.”
He said Australia would continue to be strong in the £5-£6 arena, and hoped it would get out of providing “kindergarten wines” in the £3-£4 band.
New releases included Jacob’s Creek new Shiraz Rosé in screwcap, three Yellow Tail wines from Casella and two ranges from Hope Estate, called Donnybrook and 3 Steps. Green Point, the company founded by Moët in Yarra Valley, showed a 100% sparkling Chardonnay called Z*D which is one of the first sparklers in the world with a crown seal.