Our favourite all red mixed dozen is back for winter. Featuring an array of styles, all sure to warm the cockles, we begin with eight well rounded Australians, ringing in everything from classic favourites like pinot and shiraz, to savoury, well-structured Italian imports. And in the continental corner, two French reds, one from the wild south-west mixing merlot & tannat, the other a juicy Côte du Rhône. Aglianico from Italy’s south and Tempranillo from the warmer climes of Iberia cap things off along with a big bottle of a world famous Belgian Saison.
Saison Dupont (750mL), Hainaut, Belgium
Brewers talk reverently of the saison style brewed by Belgium’s Brasserie Dupont. In this golden age of Australian craft brewing, if you’ve drunk locally brewed up saison, chances are, they’re giving this benchmark beer a nod. Don’t like beer? This you will – put this in a wine glass – a complex, crackingly crisp drink, aromatic with sweet citrus, ginger spice and lovely textural bubbles. Whether it’s a stinky cheese plate, or chilli & spices at your favourite Victoria Street Vietnamese, this big bottle is always on Pont.
2016 Silent Way Pinot Noir, Macedon, Victoria
Matt Harrop has accrued a comprehensive understanding of Victorian regions over many years at the helm of Shadowfax, and this wine under his own label from Macedon best expresses this. Beautifully harmonious, it is elegantly fruited with vibrant acidity, highlighting the rich, savoury notes the region’s pinot is famed for.
2015 Mesta Tempranillo, Ucles, Spain
This bright, fresh fruited tempranillo hails from the Ucles DO, just south east of Madrid. With the onset of winter, this no-fuss wine certainly comes from weather where you’d rather be. Medium in weight and tannin, this is great with grilled meats – as long as you can find a volunteer to stand outside and do the barbecueing!
2015 Freeman ‘Corona’ Rondinella/Corvina, Hilltops, NSW
A family run estate from the Hilltops near Young in NSW, Brian Freeman has successfully dabbled with growing Italian-inspired blends over the years. Corona is dark and savoury with rich, warming raisin-like fruit, that Freeman magically manages to counter with beautiful freshness.
2015 De Bortoli Villages Shiraz/Grenache, Heathcote
Spicy, rich, dark and juicy – what more do you want from a winter red? Steve Webber and his crew at De Bortoli really know what they are doing with this beautiful Heathcote red. Whether your preferred local butcher is Jonathon’s, Donati’s, the Wursthütte or The German Butcher, good snags are what you should be eating with this wine !
2014 Brumont Merlot/Tannat, Madiran, France
From the south-west of France, Alain Brumont’s style is all about sophistication. Drawing on its rich and proud vinous history, he was the grower that put Madiran back on the map. As a grape, tannat can be tough, giving more than ample dark fruit and structure, while merlot dominance polishes and lifts, giving both perfume and rich rounded fruit. A perfect balance of the silky and the fierce.
2016 Range Life Rosso, Murray Darling, Victoria
A single vineyard, a blend of Italian varieties including nero d’avola, sagrantino and dolcetto from the Murray Darling. This wine has beautiful perfumed aromatics, almost like a pinot noir with a bit more beef. A delicious light red to enjoy while watching Friday night footy.
2015 Cuvée des Copains, Côtes du Rhône, France
Southern French co-ops are not always known for sheer quality mindedness. But the vignerons of d’ Estézargues who make this wine are not quite as they seem! Only driven by quality, grenache dominates here giving bright red fruits and electric acidity, with syrah in the blend adding weight. Juicy with a savoury backbone and all the spices you need.
2015 Monopole Cabernet, Yarra Valley, Victoria
Working with old vines from the Yarra Valley’s Punt Road, this is the latest collaboration under our Monopole label. Reserving freshness offered by cool climate, whilst tapping into all the dark berry fruits cabernet has to offer, this is unoaked, giving it a lovely approachability. A perfect drop with your mid week throw-together pasta.
2016 Lansdowne Vineyard Peloton Syrah, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Not all that far out of Adelaide’s now very much hustling and bustling restaurant & wine bar scene, you will find the gorgeous, rolling Adelaide Hills. Known for their fragrant, cool-climate wines, these hills also make ample challenge for the annual Tour Down Under cycling peleton. But to the wine – this medium-weighted beauty is elegant and lively, with lots of well-judged, upfront fruit.
2014 Musto Carmelitano Aglianico, Basilicata, Italy
We couldn’t put together a winter mix without an aglianico – its richness and tannic grip take braised meat dishes to an even better place! This wine comes from the southern part of Italy’s foot, high altitude aiding its refinement. Don’t be afraid, tannin is your friend here.
2014 Domaine Tournon ‘Mathilda’ Shiraz, Heathcote
Well established over decades, and with some the Rhône Valley’s most prestigious holdings (cough, Hermitage!), Michel Chapoutier saw great potential in the Pyrenees of western Victoria. The vineyards he bought over 10 years ago are the source for Domaine Tournon’s shiraz, showing rich regional spice characters and mouth-watering juicy, elegant fruit.
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