Best drinking: 12 months will be welcome. A glass or two. I can’t fault much here, it just flows and feels lively, yet satisfyingly generous at every point. The best luxury Christmas crackers for 2020 We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. Bold, full through the middle, boozy, with dark chocolate and raspberry liqueur to finish. 13%, $60. Port without the spirit. Fruit for this comes from the Somerset Vineyard’s 1970 plantings and Tinkler’s ‘48 block. 18.5/20, 94/100. 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. 13.5%, $35. At 18, I started working in a small suburban bottleshop, largely to buy cheap beer. Best drinking: Now to fifteen years easy. Levantine Hill Melissa’s Paddock Syrah 2016. Another landmark wine from a celebrated estate. Best drinking: now to fifteen more years. 14%, $28. 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. But at 13.5% it’s really quite balanced. I so look forward to the Levantine Hill wines. Would I buy it? Would I buy it? 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. Why you should go to Morrisons for the best bottle of Shiraz You could keep it longer but hey why wait. Righto, last Gundog. I’d go sooner rather than later. It was my first year of university, slogging through physics and chemistry, so a liquor shop seemed like fun. Best drinking: wait. Shiraz is made in every Australian winemaking state from South Australia to Western Australia. 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). Would I buy it? Medium bodied, full of flavour, the only downer is the warm alcohol. 2014 Cool and late season after a warm summer.Good ripening gave intense aromatics and flavours. 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). Ripe, but not jammy, the fruit again well handled – chunky, lightly tannic and full flavoured. Firm. The James Halliday Top 100 list includes an overview of the year in wine, looking at the major trends and the key issues facing grape-growers and winemakers. Ultra-dense sweet fruit, the alcohol spreading through the finish. There’s a cascade of flavours here that mark it as the top tier in Vic Shiraz. The Ironheart still fits the definition of Vale Shiraz and, most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious. It’s bold. The 20 best wines for summer 2020. Easy to see the intensity here, and it’s built for the long haul though it feels a bit OTT for the moment. Interesting, for sure. Australia has a huge presence worldwide when it comes to red wine in particular, with Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot being the varietals Down Under is best … 14.2%, $42. 17.7/20, 92/100. Initially I thought the Marksman’s was too rich, too plump, too berried, with lavish oak. Not quite up to the same tier as the very well priced Pirathon Silver, but a bargain Barossa red. A cavalcade of purple berries. The reds on test were quite varied, from the gentle and sweet to the rich, ripe and oaky. 18/20, 93/100. No. Coffeed. It’s maybe a bit singular (and unsubtle), but this is charming in its mode too – the right sort of powerful Barossan red. I’m comparing everything to a high mark, a higher expectation for McLaren Vale reds – when this is ultimately a superb, impactful, highly polished full bodied wine. Good. I’d share a bottle. 14.5%, $200. $18 well spent as well. No. The slight desiccation on the finish is my only quibble. Read more about me here or get in touch to book your next wine event with me here. Good, long and mouthfilling, but not quite gold medal balance. A new Taltarni era alongside this wine. A passing nod to bacon fat and sage, then a modulated palate with fine-grain tannins and no alcohol excess. Idiosyncratic Barossan Shiraz. Sweet oak and sweet alcohol. Reminds me of a cross between a Seppelt port and one of Chris Ringland’s Three Rivers reds. 17/20, 90/100. 17/20, 90/100. The Lane Vineyard is in the Adelaide Hills region with a wine tasting and dining … "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. Gundog’s Canberra wines just get better (and better). It’s all a bit much. Such … 17.5/20, 91/100. Quintessentially a savoury style, with dark fruit with more meat and rosemary than jubey fruit. The Best of the Best: 2020 Varietal Winners 2020 Sparkling Varietal Winners . Would I buy it? Would I buy it? The 2020 James Halliday Australian Cabernet Challenge Regional Winners are: Adelaide Hills Best of Region: Wines by Geoff Hardy, 2018 K1 By Geoff Hardy 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 points . Fascinating wine. 17.7/20, 92/100. And Hunter-ness. 14.7%, $180. Clonakilla. Would I buy it? Has great tannins(d’Arenberg tannins are excellent. Best drinking: from now. 17.7/20, 92/100. I spotted it for $36 in retail land. I marginally like the less dominant Hunter portion, but like the Marksman above that could be a maturation point. They can be complex and spicy, elegant and floral or even just juicy and smashable; their versatility makes them one of the best Australian red wines you can buy. A wine that rusted on Balgownie fans will love perhaps? 13.5%, $35. This is magnificent McLaren Vale Shiraz and a glorious Jackson Family contrast to the Hickinbotham Cabernet. Fun and vibrant, with a solid mid palate of glossy fruit and a sense of lightness. Best drinking: now to ten years plus. Would I buy it? Worth a glass or two. 17.7/20, 92/100. Smooth with an autumnal feel, the palate is rich and soft with a creamy, woody frame and a lingering finish. Highlights of Tesco’s autumn/winter 2020 range include many of its own-label Tesco Finest wines, made in partnership with a variety of respected producers and cooperatives. In 2020 I’ll be drinking more wine from women winemakers and women owned wineries. 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. Would I buy it? Bright purple fruit and hints of black pepper, it initially presents as a flood of fruit, threatening to overwhelm with power and extract. Crammed with dark berries and sweet American oak, the vanilla bean palate lifted by sweet alcohol too. Best drinking: now to ten years. Some nice rosemary chocolate oaked Shiraz character but it feels just a little brash compared to the single block wines. If you're looking to buy the best red in Australia, it will set you back anywhere from $700 to $1000. Quality-wise they’re on a similar plane, but very different personalities. 14%, $27. I’d share a bottle. This will have plenty of fans. Would I buy it? Don’t get me wrong, the palate is still drenched with vibrant purple fruit but it never gets heavy, just vibrant and well sorted. Such detail. The top dog Pikes Shiraz and it’s THICK. 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. Gundog goes to the Moppity Vineyard. 2012 Cool and dry summer led to a fine, concentrated vintage.. 2011 Cold, wet and late; a vintage to forget for many.Yet good in Western Australia. Even some leathery spice, which is welcome for a wine that can look un-regional. Then 15+ years easy. It’s plump, purple and juicy, all red glossy berries, deft oak and then mid palate pomp. There’s length, however, and that fruit seems high quality. Not quite great – it’s a little jubey to be sublime and the tannins do stick out. Instead, this is neat, composed and quite regal, instantly approachable yet lobbing up enough tannins and dark fruit to be compelling beyond today. Even, purple-fruited style that is well handled. Would I buy it? Maybe a little warm is my only quibble. Needless to say, I discovered wine, and my life evolved with a unique dual focus - wine and environment.Twenty years later and I spend my days wearing many (wine) hats, mostly as a writer, presenter and marketer. American oak? Lacquered alcoholic Shiraz alcohol. Big impact. There’s a great story behind this block too. 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. Best drinking: now to many years. It’s hearty, meaty, forward and recognisable largely as Shiraz rather than something more complex. Well, not so fast. As ever, the Bremerton flagship Shiraz is big! 16.3%, $130. 18/20, 93/100. There is a whole bunch spice on the nose which is a direct contrast to the mid palate fruit and fine vanilla oak seam. A glass or two, Your email address will not be published. I’d buy it and so should you. Will win trophies, though not my style. Matthew Luczy: My top 10 fine wines of 2020. Best drinking: now to twenty plus years. No, but others will. Perfectly ripe. 18.5/20, 94/100. 17.7/20, 92/100+. It’s a rather dark and ripe Hunter red this, pitching more into dark berry fruit rather than something bright and berried (like, say, the Tyrrell’s Old Patch). Really good. Slightly too oaky and punchy for big scores but pleasure here for sure. Misses that scorched Cherry Ripe character I see in Hilltops Shiraz. Would I buy it? Best drinking: now to fifteen plus years. Delicious wine. 14.5%, $20. Barossa Valley Best of Region: Casella Family Brands, 2018 Peter Lehmann Wines Masters Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 points magazine. A glass. Best drinking: now to seven years. 14.5%, $65. Best drinking: now until whenever, wherever. Would I buy it? Would I buy it Yes. I’m a fan. Spends 10 months on older oak. 17.7/20, 92/100. I admire the way it still tastes lively in spite of the crazy ripeness, but actually drinking it? It’s super smooth and polished, oak filling in every bump. ‘We select individual barrels which showcase the characters of the ironstone’ says the little quote. Best drinking: now to at least fifteen years. As the name suggests, these are the Top 20 Shiraz of August 2020. For the cellar maybe, but wouldn’t be drinking it yet. 2024 onwards for 15yrs plus. Firm and rather substantial wine, ultimately and will be popular for its heartiness. No alarms, but such an easy wine to appreciate. It tastes riper than it should, oakier than it should too. Quality dirt. Would I buy it? 17/20, 90/100. Cote Rotie take? There are a few names that pop up more than once in this list, headlined by Gundog – with Matt Burton & team pumping out a huge array of ’18 reds from Canberra, Hilltops and the Hunter with lowish alcohols and showing convincing regional character. Shiraz, what else is there to know about Australian wine, right? Quality Shiraz for the very long haul. Bursts of fruit. I can admire the impact and length here for sure. Wrattonbully Shiraz from the family vineyard near Joanna. Layers layers layers. Interest high all the same. 14%, $32. It will keep for decades. The step up from the Little Book and a big Barossa Shiraz. Would I buy it? 13.5%, $35. There was more Shiraz this month, there always is. But how do you drink more than a few glasses? There is a withering blackness here though that marks a wine of real depth, the layers of fruit a nod to a long future ahead. Would I buy it? 18.5/20, 94/100. Dense and raspberried, the palate could almost be McLaren Vale, the flavours just a little stewed with firm desiccated tannins. Winner. 18.5/20, 94/100. 13.5%, $35. It’s juicier, brighter, prettier but turns dried on the finish. From our nation’s capital back to the Hunter Valley and another Gundog headnodder. 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