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1978 vintage guide for Red Australia

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A dry growing season produced reds of richness and longevity

Weather Conditions

A dry season across most regions which tended to produce good to quite good Australian reds of richness and longevity, except in the Hunter Valley which copped another drenching, but this time of disastrous proportions. The main problem facing growers in the fledgling Margaret River region, which otherwise had an excellent warm season, was an abundance of sharp-beaked avarian species.

Best Appellations

The South Australian regions around Adelaide made robust red wines, as did much of central Victoria and the small number of wineries then existent in Margaret River. The Yarra Valley showed some promising signs that it might become an important source of quality Cabernet Sauvignon.

Best Producers

Henschkes flagship red vineyard, the Hill of Grace, produced a majestic and long-term Shiraz in 1978, while the Penfolds collection of red wines are rich and solid enough, but lack the fruit intensity of the great years. Mount Marys Cabernets (Yarra Valley) was fine and supple, Cape Mentelles Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River) was the first serious red from this emergent vineyard, and Brown Brothers (NE Victoria) made a substantial Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

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