The Best New Releases From Australia

Australia remains one of the world richest sources for excellent inexpensive wine. At the low end of the market, Australia offers far more fruit excitement today than California. At the high end, a growing number of boutique wines are making it to these shores, thanks to several energetic importers who have done the required legwork. But price inflation for these scarcer bottles has been especially steep in the past couple of years, and there are now many, many good but not exceptional Australian wines on the shelves here for $30 or more-often much more. Australian producers, it appears, are no more shy than their counterparts in California when it comes to pricing. Due to space constraints, notes are provided on the following pages only for wines that scored 85 points or higher in my recent tastings.