Value reds


There’s some great value-for-money in mid to lower priced reds at the moment, especially with the 2012s now on sale.

From more than 150 new-release shiraz-based reds tasted, I’ve tagged the following for special mention.

Lake Breeze is regularly one of the most under-priced wineries in the country, especially with its Bernoota shiraz cabernet 2012 ($23 – tasting). Langhorne Creek is always a happy hunting ground for value reds, and these wines, from the Follett family, are on top of the pile.

The Pitchfork reds from Hay Shed Hill in Margaret River are also regular stand-outs at their price ($17) in my tastings, and the 2012 Shiraz (tasting) (and, to be posted in next month’s tastings, the ’12 Cabernet Merlot) are beacons for value in their straightforward, fruit-driven styling. Winemaker Mike Kerrigan seldom puts a foot wrong.

Barossa-based Ben Glaetzer is another who regularly delivers value, and his 2012 Heartland Spice Trader Shiraz Cabernet $17 (tasting) and 2012 Heartland Shiraz ($20 – tasting) are stand-outs. Spice Trader is a new label, I believe, and it’s amazing introductory value – let’s hope Ben can keep it up with succeeding vintages.

Another new label, this time from Coonawarra’s Brand’s Laira, is the 1893 Foundation series. The ’12 Shiraz ($24 – tasting) is a superb wine, and the ’12 Cabernet Sauvignon (again, it’ll be in next month’s uploads) are lovely soft fleshy reds, very attractively priced. They really over-deliver.

I also enjoyed the 2013 St Hallett Gamekeeper’s reds, and again, these are regularly good value at $14 full retail price – often discounted. There’s a shiraz (tasting), and a shiraz grenache touriga (tasting): soft, fruit-forward, easy-drinking.

Moving up in price a little – but I can’t ignore the value-for-money alongside wines costing two and three times as much – are the 2009 Seabrook shirazes.

Both astonishing value at $28, Seabrook The Merchant Barossa Valley Shiraz (tasting) and Seabrook The Chairman Great Western Shiraz (tasting) are made by former Best’s and Brown Brothers winemaker Hamish Seabrook, who has lately established himself in the Barossa. The Barossa is more chocolaty and dense, the Great Western more minty, spicy and structured. Both are superb and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the prices. 

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