Reds That Won’t Be Boring


Bored with your usual diet of red wine? Well, that’s understandable when you walk into a BWS or a Liquorland (you’d have to be lost to be in Liquorland) and find yourself confronted by endless shiraz and cabernet. Where’s our sense of diversity gone? This month I’ve uploaded over 100 cabernet sauvignons and cabernet blends, and over 100 mixed ‘other’ varietals, of which merlot is the lion’s share. The best of the cabernets are superb wines. Just look at the 2009 Voyager Estate pair – cabernet sauvignon merlot (tasting) and Project cabernet sauvignon (tasting), Hardy’s Thomas Hardy (tasting), Two Hands Aphrodite (tasting) and Rymill The Surveyor (tasting) – all 2010 cabernet sauvignons of great merit. Majella (tasting) and West Cape Howe Book Ends (tasting) 2011s are well priced at or below $30. The Majella, from Coonawarra’s horror vintage, and Wantirna Estate Amelia 2011 (tasting) (Yarra Valley) both belie the difficulties of the vintage in their respective regions, as does Wynns’ red stripe cabernet shiraz merlot blend (tasting). 

For value, look no further than Majella The Musician 2012 (tasting), West Cape Howe Hannah’s Hill ’12 (tasting) and Swings & Roundabouts ’12 (tasting), Rocland Estate’s ’12 Duck Duck Goose (tasting) … and Trentham Estate ’12 Cabernet Merlot (tasting) – the last at $14 is astonishing value.

Among the merlots and merlot blends, Nicholson River The Nicholson ’08 (tasting), Tibooburra (tasting) and Craggy Range Sophia (tasting) all provided enjoyment, while a couple of 2010 Echo Vale by James Irvine merlots (tastings) were eye-openers at keen prices.

There’s also nero d’avola (Amato) (tasting), sangiovese from Centennial Vineyards (tasting) and Vigna Cantina (tasting), tempranillo blends from DeGraves Road Vineyard (tasting) and S.C. Pannell (tasting), and nebbiolo from Luke Lambert (tasting). No need to be bored!

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