Elegant face of Australian wine

St Hallett Riesling
St Hallett Riesling
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2015 Prosecco extra dry doc Treviso

WINE: Alistair Gibson's best picks from the tasting season

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I have just returned from a trip to Australia and was once again reminded just how much diverse wine this nation has to offer.

In many ways, Australia changed the way we drink wine in the UK and although in recent years, for a variety of reasons, its market share has dropped, we are still its largest export market. The country also accounts for some 20% of UK wine imports ahead of both Italy and France.

Once known for easy to drink ‘sunshine in a bottle’ wines, styles have changed over the past 10 years and the focus is now much more on quality wines which are lighter in style, more complex and elegant.

I was really taken with elegant Chardonnay and Bordeaux blends from the Margaret River, and the more refined style of both Shiraz and Chardonnay across the wine regions.

St Hallett Gamekeeper Reserve 2010

A blend of Shiraz, Grenache and a splash of Portuguese variety, this is unoaked and very fresh with juicy dark fruits, including damsons and a hint of spice.

This is followed by soft tannins and a supple finish, which at this price really over-delivers.

Widely available but on offer at Waitrose at £7.49 from £9.99 until February 12.