Australia 2018 – an embarrassment of riches


This year promises even better wines than last Down Under.

Mark Walpole is the last person you’d expect to be prone to hyperbole. Over the 20 years I’ve known him, first when he was viticulturist for Brown Brothers, more recently at his own Fighting Gully Road vineyard in Beechworth, northeast Victoria, I’ve found him the most reserved and thoughtful of vignerons, never one for breathless hype (unlike some Australian winemakers I could mention).

So when I visited him in Beechworth in May, just a couple of months after harvest, and asked how the 2018 vintage had gone for him, I...