An excellent vintage in all regions produced textbook wines
A classic dry Australian summer followed a warm start to the growing season and above-average temperatures in January and February, especially in South Australia. Vintage was early and yields were slightly down, but most winemakers would happily experience a 1991 season every year. Comparisons with the previous vintage of 1990 are always inevitable when such great seasons come in pairs. Time only will tell, but it would appear that the while 1991 reds are more restrained and classically structured, the 1990 crop is typically thicker, more dense and powerful.
Again, its a whos who list of Australias best regions and makers who made the best fist of this exceptional year. From Margaret River and the Great Southern in Western Australia, across every known red district in South Australia and Victoria, 1991 gave virtually every serious red wine maker the chance to showcase their talents. The premier South Australian red wine regions of the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale and Eden Valley each had great seasons, as indeed did the Margaret River and Lower Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
In addition to the regular list of leading Australian red makers like Cullen, Henschke, Moss Wood, Rosemount Estate and Penfolds, a number of other brands created exceptional wines in 1991. These include Primo Estates Joseph Amarone (South Australia), Oakridge Estates Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Yarra Valley), Parker Terra Rossa First Growth (Coonawarra), Mount Mary Cabernet Quintet (Yarra Valley), Penley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra), Orlando Lawsons Shiraz (Padthaway), St Hallett Old Block Shiraz (Barossa Valley), Brokenwood Graveyard and Tyrrells Vat 9 Shiraz (both Hunter Valley).