It’s getting cold. You don’t require a weatherman to tell you that. So, what does one do when the mercury drops and cold sets in? One finds themselves a couple of good bottles of red, a likeminded significant other, a fireplace (candles will suffice) and two crazy big glasses… that’s what.
When it comes to ideal winter reds, the rule of thumb is straightforward. As long as the red is big (think Shiraz, Cabernet, Durif) and from the hotter regions of Australia, it’ll warm the core. You don’t have to search out sexy international reds, you can rest assured that right now, Australia is as good as anywhere to get the big stuff.
These three bottles are the current pick of a fine bunch. Wines of structure, depth, big fruit and most importantly, class.
Torbreck Woodcutters Shiraz 2010 Barossa Valley
Price: About $22 a bottle
If you don’t know the work of David Powell and his team down at Torbreck, acquaint yourselves quick smart. Award winning and world renowned, this institution of the Barossa produces quality wine year in, year out.
Hugely dense and opaque, the 2010 Woodcutters has an intensely fruit led nose with snippets of spice and a delightful warming heat. A gentle basket press coupled with a long 12 months in seasoned oak has produced jammy, conserve-like flavours and elements of savoury, dried meat.
La Curio Reserve Shiraz 2008 – McLaren Vale
Price: If you can find it, about $30 bottle
Small batch perfection from an icon of the McLaren, Adam Hooper, La Curio Reserve is the result of some astute and well timed winemaking. Produced from fruit picked just before the start of a powerful heat wave, this reserve quality Shiraz is the best from an average vintage.
Perfectly layered, this wine is an exploration of stewed dark fruit and blackberries with a subtle infusion of spicy liquorice. A generous, weighty palate of plum and raisin gives way to dark chocolate and clove and a fine hint of seasoned oak to finish. A consistent, structured wine from first sip to last.
Kilikanoon Testament Shiraz 2010 – Barossa Valley
Price: About $40 a bottle
The guys at Kilikanoon make a habit of using biblical terms to describe their wine – if you get the chance to try their produce, you’ll understand why. The wine these guys produce is big and packed full of flavour – the ideal accompaniment to hard cheeses.
A beautiful dark purple in the glass, this wine has enlightening tones of blackberry, dark chocolate and freshly cut cedar. An opulent mouth coating wine from a superb 2010 vintage, Testament Shiraz is compelling, luxurious and perfectly balanced.
So there it is, a few winter reds to warm the heart… it doesn’t get much easier, there simply isn’t a chill that a deep, brooding Shiraz won’t fix. This winter, hit up you local wine merchant, stock up on some big red wines and pray for some shocking weather – wines like these give you a good excuse to stay in.
PS. If you’re going to do it, do it right. Run these suckers through some quality stemware from the Riedel Vinum Shiraz Series – the flavours will pop.