The fourth edition of Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine has just been published with a handful of new wines in the highly prestigious Exceptional category.

Langton’s, Australia’s leading wine auction house based in Melbourne and Sydney, has been collating the country’s most-auctioned wines since 1991. The criteria for inclusion are objective and market-driven – a fact the company is keen to stress.

Wines are assessed ‘on the essential elements of track record and reputation, both of which are measured through auction market presence, consistency, volume of demand, and price realistations.’

The 2005 Classification includes 101 wines – three times as many as the first Classification in 1991, when there were 34. In 1996, 64 wines were included, and in 2000 the number went up to 89.

Sixty-seven wines from the 2000 list are included in the 2005 Classification.

There are four levels: Exceptional, Excellent, Outstanding and Distiguished. All wines must have at least 10 vintages made. Penfolds Grange traditionally takes pole position in the top category.

The new additions to Exceptional are Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir, Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon, Giaconda Chardonnay and Rockford Basket Press Shiraz.

In other categories, new entrants include Chris Ringland Shiraz, Clonakilla Shiraz-Viognier, Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon, Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz, Katnook Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon and Seppelt Great Western Vineyards Show Sparkling Shiraz.

Langton’s says its Classification ‘provides highly informed market sentiment. [It] mirrors the overall mood of the contemporary wine market.’

For full listing go to www.langtons.com

Written by Adam Lechmere