Today marks the release of the fourth edition of Langton’s Australian Wine Classification, with this being the first update since 2000. One hundred and one Australian wines have been included, an overall increase of twelve wines. Twenty-two wines have been removed and thirty-four wines have been added since the last classification.

The classification is based on auction market performance. Langton’s, being Australia’s largest auction house, has massive amounts of data from thousands of auctions performed over the last 20 years. This list is not based on price alone, but consistency, volume of demand and market presence.

Wines that make the list are divided into four categories. Exceptional, Outstanding, Excellent and Distinguished, in descending order. The only criteria for inclusion on this list, is that the particular wine must have been made for a minimum of ten vintages, and that the wine has a proven track record at auction. This does exclude most fortified wines, which are generally NV blends.

What makes this list important? It is a reflection of the changing market demands among consumers and investors in fine wine. This list is about consistent performance across multiple vintages and not about wines that received a high Robert Parker or other reviewer one vintage, with that vintage suddenly shooting up in value overnight. This classification reflects, at least in part the respect accorded to these wines by the market as a whole.

I do not feel that there is a great deal of controversy to be found with this latest list. There are some wines that were unlucky to miss out, but in general this is a good representation of our best, most consistent wines over the past few decades.

Langton’s have not yet updated their website with the latest classification, but when they do, more information should be available here.

The full classification list follows on the next page… Please feel free to leave a comment regarding your thoughts on this list.

Exceptional
PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia
BASS PHILLIP Reserve Pinot Noir, South Gippsland Victoria
CULLEN Diana Madeline Cabernet-Merlot, Margaret River Western Australia
GIACONDA Chardonnay, Beechworth Victoria
HENSCHKE Hill of Grace Shiraz, Eden Valley South Australia
LEEUWIN ESTATE Art Series Chardonnay, Margaret River Western Australia
MOSS WOOD Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River Western Australia
MOUNT MARY Quintet Cabernet Blend, Yarra Valley Victoria
PENFOLDS Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia
ROCKFORD Basket Press Shiraz, Barossa Valley South Australia
WENDOUREE Shiraz, Clare Valley South Australia

Outstanding
BAROSSA VALLEY ESTATE E & E Black Pepper Shiraz, Barossa Valley South Australia
BASS PHILLIP Premium Pinot Noir, South Gippsland Victoria
BEST’S Thomson Family Great Western Shiraz, Grampians Victoria
BROKENWOOD Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, Hunter Valley New South Wales
CHRIS RINGLAND Shiraz, Barossa South Australia
CLARENDON HILLS Astralis Syrah, McLaren Vale South Australia
CLONAKILLA Shiraz-Viognier, Canberra District New South Wales
GRANT BURGE Meshach Shiraz, Barossa Valley South Australia
GROSSET Polish Hill Riesling, Clare Valley South Australia
HARDYS Eileen Hardy Shiraz, South Australia
HENSCHKE Mount Edelstone Shiraz, Eden Valley South Australia
JASPER HILL Emily’s Paddock Shiraz-Cabernet Franc, Heathcote Victoria
JASPER HILL Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz, Heathcote Victoria
JIM BARRY The Armagh Shiraz, Clare Valley South Australia
KATNOOK ESTATE Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra South Australia
KAY BROTHERS AMERY VINEYARDS Block 6 Shiraz, McLaren Vale South Australia
MAJELLA The Malleea Cabernet-Shiraz, Coonawarra South Australia
MOUNT MARY Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley Victoria
PARKER COONAWARRA ESTATE Terra Rossa First Growth Cabernet-Merlot, Coonawarra South Australia
PIERRO Chardonnay, Margaret River Western Australia
WENDOUREE Cabernet Sauvignon, Clare Valley South Australia
YALUMBA The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz, Barossa South Australia

Excellent
BANNOCKBURN Serre Pinot Noir, Geelong Victoria
BINDI Original Vineyard Pinot Noir, Macedon Ranges Victoria
CAPE MENTELLE Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River Western Australia
CORIOLE Lloyd Reserve Shiraz, McLaren Vale South Australia
CRAIGLEE Shiraz, Sunbury Victoria
DALWHINNIE Moonambel Shiraz, Pyrenees Victoria
D’ARENBERG The Dead Arm Shiraz, McLaren Vale South Australia
DE BORTOLI Noble One Botrytis Semillon, Riverina New South Wales
ELDERTON Command Shiraz, Barossa Valley South Australia
FOX CREEK Reserve Shiraz, McLaren Vale South Australia
GIACONDA Pinot Noir, Beechworth Victoria
GREENOCK CREEK Roennfeldt Road Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley South Australia
GREENOCK CREEK Roennfeldt Road Shiraz, Barossa Valley South Australia
GROSSET Watervale Riesling, Clare Valley South Australia
HENSCHKE Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon, Eden Valley South Australia
HOWARD PARK Cabernet, Margaret River-Great Southern Western Australia
LAKE’S FOLLY White Label Cabernet Blend, Hunter Valley New South Wales
MCWILLIAM’S Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon, Hunter Valley New South Wales
MOUNT LANGI GHIRAN Langi Shiraz, Grampians Victoria
NOON Winery Reserve Shiraz, Langhorne Creek South Australia
PENFOLDS Bin 389 Cabernet-Shiraz, South Australia
PENFOLDS St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia
PETALUMA Coonawarra Cabernet-Merlot, Coonawarra South Australia
PETER LEHMANN Stonewell Shiraz, Barossa Valley South Australia
ST HALLETT Old Block Shiraz, Barossa South Australia
TAHBILK 1860 Vines Shiraz, Nagambie Lakes Victoria
TORBRECK RunRig Shiraz, Barossa Valley South Australia
VASSE FELIX Heytesbury Cabernet Blend, Margaret River-Great Southern Western Australia
VERITAS Rolf Binder Hanisch Shiraz, Barossa Valley South Australia
WENDOUREE Cabernet-Malbec, Clare Valley South Australia
WENDOUREE Shiraz-Malbec, Clare Valley South Australia
WENDOUREE Shiraz-Mataro, Clare Valley South Australia
WYNNS COONAWARRA ESTATE John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra South Australia
YARRA YERING Dry Red Wine No.1 Cabernet, Yarra Valley Victoria

Distinguished
BANNOCKBURN Chardonnay, Geelong Victoria
BANNOCKBURN Pinot Noir, Geelong Victoria
BASS PHILLIP Estate Pinot Noir, South Gippsland Victoria
BEST’S Bin No.O Great Western Shiraz, Grampians Victoria
BOWEN ESTATE Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra South Australia
CHARLES MELTON Nine Popes Shiraz-Grenache-Mourvedre, Barossa Valley South Australia
CRAWFORD RIVER WINES Riesling, Henty Victoria
DOMAINE A Cabernet Sauvignon, Coal River Valley Tasmania
HOUGHTON Jack Mann Frankland River Cabernet Blend, Great Southern Western Australia
KATNOOK ESTATE Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra South Australia
LEASINGHAM Classic Clare Shiraz, Clare Valley South Australia
LEEUWIN ESTATE Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River Western Australia
LINDEMANS Limestone Ridge Vineyard Shiraz-Cabernet, Coonawarra South Australia
MAJELLA Cabernet, Coonawarra South Australia
MITCHELTON Print Shiraz, Nagambie Lakes Victoria
MOUNT MARY Chardonnay, Yarra Valley Victoria
ORLANDO Lawson’s Shiraz, Padthaway South Australia
ORLANDO St. Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra South Australia
PENFOLDS Magill Estate Shiraz, Adelaide South Australia
PETALUMA Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills South Australia
PETALUMA Hanlin Hill Riesling, Clare Valley South Australia
PLANTAGENET Mount Barker Shiraz, Great Southern Western Australia
REDBANK WINERY Sally’s Paddock Cabernet-Shiraz, Pyrenees Victoria
SEPPELT Great Western Vineyards Show Sparkling Shiraz, Grampians Victoria
SEPPELT St Peters Great Western Vineyards Shiraz, Grampians Victoria
TIM ADAMS The Aberfeldy Shiraz, Clare Valley South Australia
TYRRELL’S Vat 47 Chardonnay, Hunter Valley New South Wales
TYRRELL’S Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley New South Wales
VASSE FELIX Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River Western Australia
WOLF BLASS Black Label Cabernet-Shiraz, South Australia
WYNNS COONAWARRA ESTATE Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra South Australia
YARRA YARRA VINEYARD The Yarra Yarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarra Valley Victoria
YARRA YERING Dry Red Wine No.2 Shiraz, Yarra Valley Victoria
YERINGBERG Cabernet Blend, Yarra Valley Victoria

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Some of my favourites in there. Nice to see a few from Margaret River.

  2. The exceptional should only be the three legendary wines Grange,HOG,MM Quintet, to bring in the other wines had dull the grading system.
    The Torbreck Run Rig and Glaetzer’s Amon Ra should be a very strong contender for the future exceptional class.
    Just my 2 cents.

  3. Wilson, would you like only the three you mention to be exceptional, or would you like to include the Run Rig and Amon Ra? Can’t have it both ways. While I agree that Grange, Hill of Grace and Quintet are amazing wines, I think it’s fair that others are considered their equals.

    In my opinion, I think it’s fantastic to see a lot of whites in there, such as some of the legendary chardonnays in the exceptional class and the Grosset rieslings.

    I also think it’s fantastic that the list evolves each year. It will be interesting to see how some of the up-and-coming high level boutique wineries will go in this list.

    What I would love to see is a “Value for Money” list similar to this, where wines are listed for their drink-now quality (since that’s what most consumers do) compared to their price. It may need to be graded by price (ie $15-20 range), but something like that in a retail environment would be very interesting to consumers.

  4. Langton’s auction this year had a bid for a six litre Magnum of Howard Park cabernet for $6000

  5. […] “Langton’s Australian Wine Classification IV“. 2007-07-27. […]

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