The Lane Vineyard. No. Worth a glass or two. From the oldest plantings on the now 50-year-old Bendigo estate, with 1.5% Viognier in the mix. This is going to win friends so easily, the style positively Penfoldian with that richness and amalgam of fruit and oak. I admire the way it still tastes lively in spite of the crazy ripeness, but actually drinking it? It’s a finessed and quite medium-bodied modern Taltarni red. Best drinking: now to fifteen years, if the tannins don’t dry things out too much. 17.7/20, 92/100. Best drinking: go now to ten plus years. Anyway, this is a Hunter/Canberra blend. Did I mention the chocolate and mint? Dark fruit. Dark, inky and ultra ripe. What stops you in your tracks is the price – for $17 this is so much wine, even if it’s not my bag. 14%, $27. Review: Balgownie Estate Viognier 2019â©, A few Christmas Wines, Beers (2020 Edition). I would tend to drink earlier rather than later myself but this style of understated Yarra Shiraz/Syrah doesn’t typically fall over in a hurry. James Halliday and his tasting panel spend months tasting the thousands of wines submitted from wineries all across Australia, and awarding each bottle a score out of 100. Drink now to ten years or more. Spends 24 days on skins with 20% whole bunches, then matured in 20% new oak for 12 months. Sourced from old vines in Marananga you can almost guess the script here – luscious fruit, chocolate bullets oak, the palate silken with ripe fruit and oak filling every crevice. Perfectly ripe. Best drinking: now to fifteen plus years. 2013 Hot and dry.Forward and generous wines, but aromatics are subdued on occasion. A few glasses, maybe more. I now judge at wine shows around the world, sit on the Australian Wine List of the Year awards panel and was once a Wine Journalism Young Gun (but baby that was years ago). Love the density through the mid palate, though it just tends a bit baked to finish for my tastes. White pepper powder as the first character but itâs not peppery in the rotundone mode. Something, like the exceptional Hickinbotham The Peake Cabernet Shiraz 2018. Shiraz (the same grape as Syrah) is Australia's leading red grape and the wines made from it are often spectacular in both texture and flavor, with huge vivid waves of black pepper, black fruits, exotic spices, cigars, bitter chocolate and boysenberries. But how do you drink more than a few glasses? But stylish enough and plenty attractive. There are many good red wine brands making ripping Pinots in Australia, and they can be made in so many marvellous ways. Best drinking: from now. 18.5/20, 94/100. But underneath its a surprise packet. Misses that scorched Cherry Ripe character I see in Hilltops Shiraz. Levantine Hill Melissa’s Paddock Syrah 2016. The very definition of a smooth and generous Barossa Shiraz. A more conventional expression of McLaren Vale Shiraz in context – a wine that lovers of traditional McLaren Vale Shiraz are going to adore. 18.7/20, 95/100. But such a step up. Best drinking: wait until the end of the year and then for the next seven years for a start. Sourced from the Lochleven vineyard, it has that remarkable boysenberry purple colour of modern Hunter Shiraz. Who needs more ripeness when everything is in its right place? Best drinking: now to ten plus years. Best drinking: worth waiting a few years for integration. Would I buy it? Interest high all the same. The World's Best Australian Wines on Wine-Searcher: Wine Name Score Ave Price : Penfolds Grange Bin 95: 96: $597 : Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz, Eden Valley: 96: $634 : Seppeltsfield Para Vintage Tawny, Barossa Valley: 95: $5600 : Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz, Barossa Valley: 95: $302 : Seppeltsfield 'Para Liqueur' Vintage Tawny Barossa Valley: 95: $187 : Clarendon … Blewitt Springs Shiraz from the Sherry Vineyard and the Wait Vineyard, and channelled into a really clever modern Shiraz. Why? From old vine Grenache to classic Cabernet to some fantastic red blends to surprisingly tasty Riesling to, yes, really good Syrah (or as it's called here Shiraz), Australia has lot to offer across it's varied wine regions. Bright red fruits, … American oak? Would I buy it? 13.5%, $35, would I buy it? Not bad wine in any circumstance, however, just a step behind the other glorious ’17 Balgownie reds. Woah. The Ironheart still fits the definition of Vale Shiraz and, most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious. Quintessentially a savoury style, with dark fruit with more meat and rosemary than jubey fruit. Maturing fast but not without charm. 17.5/20, 91/100. Photograph: svetikd/Getty Images. Matured for 12 months in 25% new oak. I now judge at wine shows around the world, sit on the Australian Wine List of the Year awards panel and was once a Wine Journalism Young Gun (but baby that was years ago). Currently, I write features for a variety of publications including National Liquor News, Gourmet Traveller WINE and the RAS, plus I'm a former Lifestyle FOOD channel wine expert. 14.5%, $20. Would I buy it? Best drinking: now to at least ten years. There’s a cascade of flavours here that mark it as the top tier in Vic Shiraz. It’s like stepping back in time to 1998! Initially I thought the Marksman’s was too rich, too plump, too berried, with lavish oak. The Balgownie standard-bearer. Slightly too oaky and punchy for big scores but pleasure here for sure. Enjoyment is still high. No. Gundog goes to the Moppity Vineyard. Mid weight but with fruit density, the palate rounded and polished with some background oak to fill things out. I so look forward to the Levantine Hill wines. 14.2%, $42. Glossy purple berry fruit on nose and palate too. 2024 onwards for 15yrs plus. A blend of Clare Valley & McLaren Vale Shiraz fruit. Thanks foot treading?) "For a classic Barossa Shiraz that demonstrates what Australian Shiraz should be, the Penfolds RWT (or bin 798) is a full-bodied powerhouse that is also elegantly balanced," Osborn says. A big blast of minty purple fruit, the palate dense, chocolatey and very hearty, the finish warm and substantial even if it’s more medium bodied than full. 19/20, 96/100. Best drinking: now until whenever, wherever. 14.5%, $51. No. The Best of the Best: 2020 Varietal Winners 2020 Sparkling Varietal Winners . Lavishly oaked (some American oak?) December 16, 2020 After such a shit year, surely it’s time you spoilt yourself this Christmas? Black Magic is a fitting title too – it’s like liquid molasses. Good tannins to finish, if minty. Shiraz is made in every Australian winemaking state from South Australia to Western Australia. A glass. Includes 3% Malbec, intriguingly. This is what mod Australian Shiraz is about – ripeness, unmistakable generosity of flavour, but also delivered with a sense of shape and purpose. A glass. Best drinking: it will get better, and history says this is a twenty-year wine. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Itâs juicier, brighter, prettier but turns dried on the finish. It’s plump, purple and juicy, all red glossy berries, deft oak and then mid palate pomp. Old school plush. McLaren Vale Shiraz but with Viognier Roussanne Marsanne. Would I buy it? Another win for Bryan Currie. Black fruited, inky and just a little warm – it’s a big fruit bomb. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! What, more Gundog? As the name suggests, these are the Top 20 Shiraz of August 2020. 18.5/20, 94/100. Australia's godfather of wine James Halliday guides us through this year's value drops. A new Taltarni era alongside this wine. 14%, $65. Well, not so fast. The Penfolds 2020 collection is available from ... 389 has staked its own claim as a superb Australian red wine, and at 60, this is a “baby” no more. More depth than some vintages too. Lirac & Tavel 2019: Report and top scoring wines. There’s a great story behind this block too. I like the cross regional thinking here. Would I buy it Yes. 14.5%, $45. Fascinating wine. It will keep for decades. Easy to see the intensity here, and it’s built for the long haul though it feels a bit OTT for the moment. Sweetwater sits awkwardly in the Hungerford Hill portfolio – I almost feel like it would be better as Hungerford Hill Sweetwater, though Sweetwater is a very different estate (with a grand house on the property too) I digress. Barossa Valley Best of Region: Casella Family Brands, 2018 Peter Lehmann Wines Masters Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 points Superb. 13.5%, $35. Shiraz is Australia’s best known and most widely planted variety; Grown in virtually every wine region in Australia; Shiraz is relatively adaptable and can be grown in moderate to cool regions as well as warm areas; Regions. I just couldn’t finish more than a glass. Would I buy it? Much less extraction, much more fragrance, the alcohol not noticeable either with a hint of whole bunch spice for good measure. Thick and dark red berries (McLaren Vale) meets lighter blackberries and peppery bitterness (Hills). Pure class. A glass or two. Shiraz Day Highlight: Yangarra Kings Wood Shiraz…, The Top 10 Shiraz tasted this August 2018 - feat.…, Yangarra goes even higher: Four outstanding super…. Add Bruce Jack Shiraz Malbec Wine 750Ml Add add Bruce Jack Shiraz Malbec Wine 750Ml to basket Save £1.00 Was £7.00 Now £6.00 Offer valid for delivery from 08/12/2020 until 02/01/2021 Offer 14.5%, $65. As the name suggests, this includes some whole bunches, which I think give this Shiraz more. And Hunter-ness. Would I buy it? Gundog Estate Hilltops Shiraz No. It’s not a bad wine – it’s still appealing, but less would be more, and the closer you look the more the oaky permeates everything. Moderate. Another solid regional release from Pikes. More tannins. Proper cool climate Shiraz/Syrah here from the Warramunda Vineyard in the Yarra. Even, purple-fruited style that is well handled. But hey, this will turn heads and flashy as fuck. Would I buy it? Named after the late Mr. Edward John Peake, who first established vineyards in … There is a whole bunch spice on the nose which is a direct contrast to the mid palate fruit and fine vanilla oak seam. Not unattractive either, the soft, warm, white chocolate oaky palate is certainly inviting. Mediumness. Very good modern Yarra red. 14%, $27. Bursts of fruit. The best luxury Christmas crackers for 2020 We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. From 20yo dry grown vines – which is young for Galafrey, given that the Tyrer family vineyard is now approaching 45 years old. A bit of mint (that the Clare component?). Solid, regardless. Would I buy it? Best drinking: now to ten plus years. 13.5%, $35. Gundog’s Canberra wines just get better (and better). A passing nod to bacon fat and sage, then a modulated palate with fine-grain tannins and no alcohol excess. 18/20, 93/100. Yes. Big impact. Firm and rather substantial wine, ultimately and will be popular for its heartiness. Oak integration A+ too. Very Hunter Valley, if in a chunkier mode, and has the legs to be a long-lived style. Fun and vibrant, with a solid mid palate of glossy fruit and a sense of lightness. I’d buy it and so should you. Idiosyncratic Barossan Shiraz. Drink that wine now and this wine later? Would I buy it? Delicious wine. Winemaking-wise it 25% whole bunches and included in the wild ferment, the wine spending 15 months in 35% new French oak. I’d share a bottle. Featuring a range of varieties and price points, it’s an invaluable guide to some of the best Australian wines. Best drinking: now to fifteen more years. 17.7/20, 92/100. Even some leathery spice, which is welcome for a wine that can look un-regional. 18/20, 93/100. Itâs lithe and a little bony, a wine of acidity and some subtlety, refreshment but not instant gratification. Would I buy it? Top 10 Best Red Wines in the UK 2020 (Tesco, Waitrose and More) ... A gorgeous example of an Australian Pinot Noir from a cold climate, it's soft and elegant with distinctive cherry notes and a hint of tobacco. From low yielding old vines in Glenrowan. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! 17.5/20, 91/100. It’s hearty, meaty, forward and recognisable largely as Shiraz rather than something more complex. 13.5%, $22.99. Overt oak, overt fruit, overt alcohol. Both wines are McLaren Vale megalords, just different. 18.5/20, 94/100. An excuse to open something even more special? Deep, oaky, licoricey. The score is a nod to the length, the silk, the surprising palate. Lots of flavour, as usual. It was my first year of university, slogging through physics and chemistry, so a liquor shop seemed like fun. There was more Shiraz this month, there always is. Ripe, but not jammy, the fruit again well handled – chunky, lightly tannic and full flavoured. I find the finish a bit thin, ultimately. Saving the best until … For this lineup I dug deeper into the sample pile, searching – perhaps blindly – for something beyond paint-by-numbers oak/fruit/added tannins in search of wines with charisma. Meerea Park are one of many Hunter producers to have publically announced they won’t be making much wine out of 2020, which is miserable. Not my normally drink, but I admire the style greatly. I can’t afford those bikkies, but I’ll happily drink it. Worth a bottle. 17/20, 90/100. 17.5/20, 91/100. Worth sharing a bottle. In 2019 and 2020 I was voted in the Top 30 Best Wine Critics in The World, and in my spare time, I'm a sucker for punishment and run trail ultra marathons, much to the delight of my long-suffering family. Bottle for the cellar. 13.5%, $65. But these are the wines I want to talk about. Styles. Smooth with an autumnal feel, the palate is rich and soft with a creamy, woody frame and a lingering finish. Best drinking: now to at least fifteen years. Spends 10 months on older oak. It’s bold. Best drinking: now to fifteen years. Would I buy it? White rather than black pepper. A plump, just-bottled, sweet oak and sweet-fruited style of Barrosan red with instant appeal. Still, with that structure underneath, time will be kind. Bright red ruby, it captures the energy and liveliness of Hunter Shiraz in a warm and even vintage. Would I buy it? More tannins, more mouthfeel, and a longer finish; so… A glass. Fun! But I admire the unwavering conviction and intensity (hence the pass mark score). Worth a glass or two. In 2019 and 2020 I was voted in the Top 30 Best Wine Critics in The World, and in my spare time, I'm a sucker for punishment and run trail ultra marathons, much to the delight of my long-suffering family. Lavish too. Best drinking: hard to say. The Bass River Estate is next to the Bass River’s west bank. Indeed there is plenty of old school flavour here and it’s quite developed, the flavours heading towards brick dust and Old Gold. Gundog, again: 3 exceptional 2014 Hunter Shiraz revisited, A collection of quality Hunter Shiraz + Semillon…, Schwarz Wine Co. Meta Shiraz 2018 - a (delicious)…, 16 top $30+ Australian Shiraz just in time for Christmas. Yes. Well worth a bottle. This will have plenty of fans. McLaren Vale Shiraz from Scott Heidrich done well. 14.5%, $?. Would I buy it? 14.7%, $180. Red fruit. but it’s not a convincing package just yet. Instead, this is neat, composed and quite regal, instantly approachable yet lobbing up enough tannins and dark fruit to be compelling beyond today. Why you should go to Morrisons for the best bottle of Shiraz In 2020 I’ll be drinking more wine from women winemakers and women owned wineries. This is magnificent McLaren Vale Shiraz and a glorious Jackson Family contrast to the Hickinbotham Cabernet. 17.7/20, 92/100+. Would I buy it? This is from Canberra & Hilltops fruit. Would I buy it? Ultra-dense sweet fruit, the alcohol spreading through the finish. 17.7/20, 92/100. densely packed style with old school weight and impact. 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