The 2010 release of Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine V sees the addition of 33 new wines to the official listing, bringing the total number of ranked wines up to 123. Importantly, the new listing, which is the most recent since 2005, features six promotions to the top-tier “Exceptional” category, which has grown from seven members in 2000 to 17 in 2010. Selections are made based on secondary market presence and value, and as such, this year's numerous additions and promotions appear to be the result of increasing demand for Australian wines on the secondary market.

Since its conception in 1991, the four-tier classification has acknowledged Australia’s finest and most sought-after wines. Only wines that have made ten vintages or more are eligible for inclusion, and the classification is revised every five years in order to keep pace with the country’s rapidly changing fine wine scene.

The current classification is composed of 58 shiraz/blends, 40 cabernet/blends, 10 pinot noirs and only 15 white wines (reflecting a strong preference for reds). As well as the newcomers to the Exceptional category, 12 wines were promoted to the second-tier Outstanding category (and four wines were added). Further down the listing, seven wines were promoted to Excellent (and eight added) and 21 were classified as Distinguished. Notable demotions include Parker Coonawarra Terra Rossa First Growth Cabernet Merlot, which fell from Outstanding to Excellent, as well as Giaconda Pinot Noir, Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz and Veritas Rolf Binder Shiraz, all of which were demoted from Excellent to the lowest tier, Distinguished.

The table below shows the wines that have been classed as Exceptional this year (five of which are currently offered on the exchange). Of the six new entrants, five are shiraz, including Torbreck RunRig Shiraz. The wine is this year's most ambitious climber and moves up two tiers to its current position. Vintages are available at £100+ per bottle.

Exceptional Australian wines