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December 14, 2023

Langtons Classification of Australian Wine: Eighth edition is “a dramatic shake-up”

The latest edition of Australia's answer to the 1855 Classification has had an infusion of new, cooler blood.

By David Williams

Australian fine-wine auction house and merchant Langtons has unveiled the latest, eighth edition of the Langtons Classification of Australian Wine, with the company describing the 100-strong selection of Australia’s most in-demand fine wines as “the most dramatic shake-up” of the influential list since its first edition in 1990.

The new list, which comprises wines that have been released for at least ten vintages and which “have a strong track record in the secondary market,” has been simplified, with the three tiers of the previous edition (published in 2018) replaced by two: all 100 wines are now “Classified” with a top tier of 19 wines given the title “First Classified”—a nod to the first growths of the 1855 Bordeaux Classification which has always been the inspiration for the Langtons Classification. 

But Langtons’ claim that the “new edition shows the biggest change in the history of the Classification” has more to do with the content than the form. According to Michael Anderson, Head of Auctions and Secondary Market at Langtons, the eighth edition “represents a seismic shift in the purchasing, drinking, and investing habits of Australia’s top fine wine buyers. We can see a movement away from the hedonistic, full-bodied reds, with a shift towards lighter styles from cooler climates and a sprinkling of top tier, vibrant whites, too.”

A total of 19 new wines have joined the list, with Langtons highlighting The Relic Shiraz Viognier and The Schubert Theorem Shiraz (The Standish Wine Company), Hoffmann Dallwitz and Little Wine Shiraz (Sami-Odi), Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (Tolpuddle), and Quartz Chardonnay (Bindi) as wines that “underlin[e] a clear new direction to more elegant styles of Shiraz and southeast regions featuring Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.”

“In Classifications gone by, the richly robed reds of warmer climate parts of South Australia were stalwart wines,” Anderson added. “While such wines from top names are still loved among collectors, there is clear and irrefutable movement towards lighter styles from cool climate regions, including Pinot Noir from Bindi and Bass Phillip, as well as top Chardonnays from Macedon, Gippsland, Tasmania, and beyond.”

For all that the new Langtons Classification reflects changing times in Australian wine, however, the First Classified list is dominated by wines that have been part of the list since its inception, including such internationally famous names as Penfolds Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace, Wendouree Shiraz, Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, and Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay. 

Similarly, South Australia remains the leading region, with 48 wines, thanks in large part, according to Langtons, to the “continued ascendancy of Barossa wines.” Victoria comes second, with 27 wines, followed by Western Australia (11), New South Wales (nine), and Tasmania (four). 

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Langtons Classification of Australian Wine Eighth Edition

First Classified

· Bass Phillip Wines Reserve Pinot Noir

· Brokenwood Wines Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz

· Cullen Wines Diana Madeline

· Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay

· Henschke Hill Of Grace Shiraz

· Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz

· Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay

· Mount Mary Pinot Noir

· Mount Mary Quintet

· Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz

·  Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon

· Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz

· Penfolds Bin 144 Yattarna Chardonnay

· Rockford Basket Press Shiraz

· Torbreck Runrig Shiraz

·  Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon

· Wendouree Shiraz

· Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch

·  Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No.1 Cabernet

Classified

· Arras EJ Carr Late Disgorged Methode Traditionelle

· Balnaves Of Coonawarra The Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

· Bass Phillip Wines Premium Chardonnay

· Bass Phillip Wines Premium Pinot Noir

· Best’s Great Western Wines Bin 0 Shiraz

· Bindi Original Vineyard Pinot Noir

· Bindi Quartz Chardonnay

·  Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon

· Castagna Genesis Syrah

· Charles Melton Nine Popes GSM

· Chris Ringland Dry Grown Barossa Ranges Shiraz

· Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah

· Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier

· Coriole Lloyd Reserve Shiraz

· Craiglee Shiraz

· Crawford River Wines Riesling

· Cullen Wines Kevin John Chardonnay

· Curly Flat Pinot Noir

· D’arenberg Wines The Dead Arm Shiraz

· De Bortoli Wines Noble One Botrytis Semillon

· Deep Woods Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

· Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon

· Giaconda Estate Vineyard Shiraz

· Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz

· Grosset Polish Hill Riesling

· Hardys Eileen Hardy Shiraz

· Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon

· Henschke Hill Of Roses Shiraz

· Henschke Keyneton Estate Shiraz Cabernet Malbec

·  Jim Barry Wines The Armagh Shiraz

· John Duval Wines Plexus SGM

· Katnook Estate Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon

· Lake’s Folly Cabernet Blend

· Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon

· Main Ridge Estate Half Acre Pinot Noir

· Majella The Malleea Cabernet Shiraz

· Moss Wood Chardonnay

· Moss Wood Moss Wood Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

· Mount Langi Ghiran Vineyards Langi Shiraz

· Mount Mary Chardonnay

· Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon

· Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz

· Oakridge Wines 864 Chardonnay

· Paringa Estate Estate Pinot Noir

· Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon

· Penfolds Reserve Bin A Chardonnay

· Penfolds Bin 398 Rwt Shiraz

· Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz

· Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz

· Rockford Black Sparkling Shiraz

· Rockford Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon

· Sami-Odi Hoffmann Dallwitz Shiraz

· Sami-Odi Little Wine Shiraz

· Serrat Close Planted Shiraz Viognier

· The Standish Wine Company The Relic Single Vineyard Shiraz Viognier

· The Standish Wine Company The Standish Shiraz

· The Standish Wine Company Schubert Theorem Shiraz

· Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay

· Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir

· Torbreck The Steading GSM

· Turkey Flat Shiraz

· Tyrrell’s 4 Acres Shiraz

· Tyrrell’s Vat 47 Chardonnay

· Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay

· Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Blend

· Wendouree Cabernet Malbec

· Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon

· Wendouree Shiraz Mataro

· Wine By Farr Sangreal Pinot Noir

· Wine By Farr Tout Pres Pinot Noir

· Woodlands Family Series Cabernet Sauvignon

· Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

· Wynns Coonawarra Estate Michael Shiraz

· Xanadu Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

· Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz

· Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Shiraz

· Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No.2 Shiraz

· Yeringberg Cabernet Blend

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