More Red Wine reviews

Ratings Key

Ratings Score range Description

 95 - 100

Often an internationally recognised, leading brand or winery - but not always! Produces a classic wine that is a faultless representation of the style/variety. Complexity on the nose and a seamless palate are an example of the hallmarks of an outstanding wine.
Highly Recommended

92 - 94

A quality focused wine that has plenty of style. Length of palate and intensity are often key characteristics of highly recommended wines. These producers could be the ones to watch in the future.

89  - 91

An above average well-made, reflection of the style/variety, which often represents good value for money. 


Red Wines

Lowe Wines Zinfandel 2009 , Mudgee, NSW. Perfumed complex nose with floral, sweet cooking spices, nutmeg and cinnamon. Velvet, full bodied, dry, silky palate with well integrated tannins. Leading Australian example of this grape variety. Outstanding   

John Duval Plexus 2005, Barossa Valley A blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre, this rich sweet berry fruit driven wine is intense on the palate and youthful, inviting long term cellaring.  Highly Recommended  

Richmond Grove Shiraz Limited Release 2002, Barossa Valley, SA.. Deep ink in appearance. The wine has strong licorice and rich plum aromas; with hints of soya sauce. Full-bodied, fruit driven on the palate but also exhibits good length. Still youthful with no secondary aromas. Highly Recommended  

 Michael Unwin Acrobat Durif 2004, Central Vic. Classic Durif offering distinctive rich plum fruit, black cherry and especially liquorice. Full bodied fruit driven -as you would expect- but just lacks a little structure to give the wine a more length. Recommended  

Pyrenees Ridge Shiraz 2004, Pyrenees, Vic. Nice refined pepper and spice with a splash of fresh blueberries on the nose. Rich and savoury offering good length of palate, dry, soft tannins, medium to full bodied. Recommended 

Saltram Mamre Brook Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Barossa Valley, SA. Delicious wine full of dried spices, plums and chocolate on the nose. Powerful rich fruit driven palate with a savoury back palate and dry tannic finish. Mouthfilling and intense. Will age gracefully. Highly Recommended

O'Leary Walker The Clare Reserve Shiraz 2004. A complex wine with mint, aniseed and hints of dried fruit on the nose. Rich and concentrated palate with superb length and fine grain tannins. Sourced from old vines and only 200 cases produced. Outstanding.

Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Ridge Quartage 2005, Barossa Valley, SA. A Bordeaux blend with distinct 5 spice nose accompanied by pencil shaving new-oak and slight earthy notes. Nice rich Barossa fruit on the palate with smooth tannins resulting in good line and length. Recommended

Mc Henry Hohnen Tiger Country Tempranillo Petit Verdot Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Margaret River, WA Nice Tempranillo cherry nose, sweet front-palate, soft but with enough body to make it a supple and deliver a good length of palate. Recommended

Highbank Coonawarra Cabernet Blend 2001, Coonawarra, SA. This small certified organic and biodynamic vineyard uses all the tricks of the trade to produce a stunning Bordeaux style Cabernet. Elegant blackberry and autumn leafy aromas with hints of stylish French oak. Smooth velvety on the palate with fine tannins and great length of palate. Outstanding.  

Sally's Paddock 2005, Pyrenees, Vic. Deep inky inviting colour. Strong dark cherry aromas with a distinct American oak richness. But it also displays some underlying cooler-climate Cabernet-mint nuances.  Rich, full bodied wine on the palate that delivers the goods; whilst retaining a certain elegance. In short, a very attractive wine. Cork. Highly Recommended.

The Islander Old Rowley Bush Vine Grenache 2005, Kangaroo Is, SA. rrp A$43.90. lovely spot-on aromatic Grenache displaying concentrated redcurrants, vanilla and floral notes. This wine is delightful on the palate, with a rich, silky elegance and hints of savoury charcuterie. Light to medium bodied with fine grain tannins. The wine is made by Bordeaux trained Jacques Lurton. Highly Recommended.

Penley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2004, Coonawarra, SA. Great depth of colour. Classic Coonawarra Cabernet - displaying strong blackberry aromas. Slight leafy hints. Ripe front palate fruit, rich, full bodied with good length and a fine, long, well-integrated soft tannin finish.  Highly Recommended.

Ferngrove 'Majestic' Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Frankland River, W.A rrp A$25.00  06 trophy winner from the Royal Perth Wine Show. Deep and bright. Intense blackcurrant and plum with hints of mint and slight leafiness. Lovely sweet fruit on the front palate then develops into a savoury middle palate. Lovely length with  fine, dry, just detectable tannins. Good value for money. Recommended 

Willow Bridge Shiraz/Viognier 2005 Reserve, Geographe, W.A Pleasant sweet fruit with hints of cinnamon and cherry. Medium bodied, good length finishing with soft gentle tannins. Recommended.

Tarrawarra Estate Tin Cows Pinot Noir 2005, Yarra Valley, Vic rrp A$22.00.  Attractive cherry aromas with a nice touch of spice. Light, soft and elegant, but with good length producing a Pinot that is excellent value for money.  Recommended.

Turners Crossing Shiraz/Viognier 2005, Bendigo.Vic. Bags of class. Intense, aromatic cassis nose with  blueberry nuances. Smooth, rich palate with bags of fruit, but kept in balance; a kind of restrained opulence. Fine grained tannins and well integrated oak show the fine skills of winemaker Sergio Carlei. Diam cork. Highly Recommended.

Witchmount Estate Shiraz 2004, Sunbury, Victoria. Inviting red berry fruit aromas with nuances of pepper and spice. Concentrated fruit, nice texture and good length on the palate. Recommended

Printhie Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz 2004, Orange, NSW. lovely plum and blackcurrant aroma with secondary mint and eucalyptus. Medium-full bodied wine with up front fruit sweetness and soft tannins. Well priced. Recommended.

Casa Freschi La Signora 2003, Langhorne Creek, SA (Nebbiolo/Cabernet Sauvignon)$A38 lovely entwined aromas of clove, violets and cassis, fully expressing each grape variety. Rich and savoury on the palate, with a tight elegant structure, promising good aging capacity. Interesting wine and for once a left-field blend that works surprisingly well Highly Recommended.

Hackersley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Geographe, W.A. Deep inviting colour leads to a classic Cabernet nose full of cassis, spicy mulberry and red plum. Medium to full bodied. Youthful exuberant palate with a soft gentle tannic finish. Highly Recommended. 

Plunkett Reserve Strathbogie Ranges Shiraz 2004, Vic. This shiraz shows some attractive cool climate European minerality on the nose, as well as mint and even slight licorice. Elegant and refined on the palate with good length. Highly Recommended. 

Golden Ball Shiraz 2004, Beechworth, Vic.The wine is smooth and seamless on the palate with good fruit structure displaying plums and a hint of dried herbs. I tasted this wine blind a few weeks ago and loved the seamless palate texture mistaking it for a Super Tuscan!Tasted Jun 06. Highly Recommended.

Stoney Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004, Coal River Valley, Tasmania rich new oak with some mint, rosemary and eucalyptus. Charming smooth velvet wine, good line and length. Highly Recommended. 

Kellermeister Tempranillo 2005, Barossa Valley, SA. Inky in colour. Strong plum aromas with hints of licorice and prune. Medium to full bodied with bags of sweet Barossa fruit on the front and middle palate, making this wine irresistible. A drink early style and great value at $17.50. Highly Recommended. 

Gilberts Reserve Shiraz 2003, Mount Barker, WA. This is a delicious Shiraz from a renowned Riesling producer in WA. From the onset the wine displays class. Attractive spice on the nose, both cinnamon and nutmeg comes through. Sumptuous,  smooth and rich on the palate with a lovely texture, good length and well integrated tannins and acidity. rrp CD $25.00 Highly Recommended. 

Trinity Hill Homage Syrah 2004, Hawke's Bay, NZ John Hancock is making some of New Zealand’s best red wines. Homage is his top red. Complex spice abounds with nutmeg and cinnamon at the forefront. Rich, well balanced tight and elegant. Great chewy texture, a real meditation wine. Outstanding

Freycinet Pinot Noir 2005, East Coast, Tasmania. deep inky colour with redcurrant and plums. Velvet and smooth palate good length with well balanced tannins. Outstanding

Hackersley Merlot 2004, Geographe, W.A. A quality Australian Merlot. This wine welcomes you with rich, ripe red berry fruit -in abundance- redcurrant, blueberry and plums, they are all there; plus a touch of spice. On the palate the wine has a seamless, velvet quality, something I always look for in a fine wine. It is smooth and satisfying whilst still delivering great Aussie sweet fruit character on the front and middle palate. delicious. Outstanding.

Castagna Sauvage Shiraz 2003, Beechworth, Vic Jullian Castagna has been making wine since 1988 and developed one of the truly small great boutique labels in Australia. Idiosyncratic wines that are made to his own tastes rather than fashion with minimal intervention and following biodynamic principles. Located at an altitude of 500 metres some five and a half kilometres outside of Beechworth the vines are planted on similar soils to Giaconda, which is just up the road, mainly decomposed granitic-loam on a base of clay.  Cropped at less than two tonnes per acre the grapes undergo a wild yeast fermentation and the resulting wine receive the best tight grained oak for between 18-20 months. Julian calls the 03 Sauvage Shiraz a declassified Genesis, his iconic top wine, as he did not release a top wine that year. A deep inviting inky colour, a complex nose with funky, barnyard then ripe fruit characters coming through.  A very French Rhône style with lovely texture, acidity and fine grain tannins. The wine has a touch of Sangiovese and Viognier in it. Outstanding

Castagna La Chiave Sangiovese 2004, Beechworth, Vic Castagna’s vines were grown from cuttings taken from a back yard vine that Julian spotted as being Sangiovese Grosso, the same clone that is so successful in Brunello di Montalcino in Italy. La Chiave or ‘The key” is undoubtedly the highest quality Sangiovese made in Australia, and by a country mile. My last brush with a Sangiovese of this quality was in Montalcino itself.  Complex violets, sour cherries and broth combine and compete for your attention on the nose. Rich and elegant on the palate, this wine displays hints of that magical umami flavour (similar mouthfeel to drinking consommé) which is the only way I can explain the integrated silkiness and texture partially due from expert oak and tannin balance. Only 5 barrels were made so be quick to secure some of this great wine. Outstanding



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