March 3, 2014

Five red wines you need in your cellar

Here are five superb red wines that you should have in your cellar right now.

Some old favourites and perhaps a newby or two. These wines will reward your wait and they cost a whole lot less than Grange and you do not need to wait as long to enjoy them in their prime. If they are not already there, you should be already on your way to get them. Now ….


Yalumba The Signature 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz ($45+)

This is a classic Australian red blend and should be staple in everyone’s cellar. However, that is not saying that it is already drinking very well on release. Rich and concentrated but still elegantly structured with the best of both varieties.  The juiciness of shiraz sits comfortably with the cigar detail to the black fruit and powdery tannins of the dominant cabernet.  It has been plumped out with some spicy oak adding texture and warm cinnamon.  Drinking very well indeed.


Honeymoon Vineyard 2010 Adelaide Hills Shiraz ($48)

This wine may be hard to find, but is worth the search.  It may be just easier to go direct to the winery.  It is wine that wins plenty of gongs and acclaim but might be elusive in your local wine store.  Shiraz from cooler climes tend to take on a pretty perfumed and peppery persona and the Honeymoon Vineyard Shiraz is no exception. The fruit is fresh blackberry lightened up with some red fruit but there is no mistaking that pepper right along the tight acid backbone and it continues to linger in the mouth.  A mid term cellar prospect.


Lindemans Pyrus 2010 ($50-70)

This vintage is a blend of 79% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot, 5% cabernet franc from the Coonawarra. In its youth, there is an abundance of black fruit, savoury cedary oak and spice. This will gracefully age and meld together and from my experience with this wine, the fruit will still have plenty of freshness to offer after a decade of cellaring. This wine is all about the balance of supple and fine tannin wrapped in rich oak and fleshy, fresh fruit.   Just a heads up – the Pyrus 2012 is looking very pretty as well with an addition of malbec in a style where Bordeaux meets the Coonawarra.

(Note: I have recently seen Pyrus as low as $38, albeit for the 2009)


Innocent Bystander Mea Culpa Shiraz 2011 ($60)

The Mea Culpa Shiraz offers up a mouthful of blackberry fruit, pepper and thyme with some silky tannins.  Tarraford vineyard in the Yarra Valley, has been nurtured with biodynamic principles and this minimal intervention philosophy has continued in the winemaking as well. There is both intensity and tautness to this wine and it finishes with a pinch of fresh herbs.  Enjoy it now or over the mid term.


Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2009 ($70)

At five years old, this is already well and truly on its journey but this Margaret River classic will keep on delivering for another decade yet.  The breakdown this year is 94% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% petit verdot. Rich mint chocolate is textured with tart blackcurrant fruit, earth and black olive.  The clean cabernet tannins and fresh acid shape the mouth. While it is ripe and intense, it remains medium bodied and poised. It is an expressive wine from entry to detailed fruit finish.  An excellent candidate for the cellar or if you drink it now, enjoy with food.

Note: This wine is sold also in 375ml format, which I would not cellar, but is excellent now. It is showing a little more olive and development. 


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