Deep, detailed and deliciously refreshing…

Choose a red that will reel you in and lift you up this summer.

Here’s a selection of somewhat sophisticated options; you’ll find notes and reviews beneath the table:

2018 Scorpo Eocene High Density Vineyard Pinot NoirMornington Peninsula$87
2017 Taupenot-Merme Gevrey-ChambertinBurgundy$182
2017 Jean Tardy Nuits-Saint-Georges Bas de CombeBurgundy$190
2017 Latour-Giraud Volnay 1er Cru Clos des ChêneBurgundy$190
2013 Bernhard Huber Schlossberg Pinot Noir Grosses GewächsBaden$164
2019 G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba Coste & FossatiPiedmont$54
2017 Cigliuti Barbaresco SerraboellaPiedmont$141
2017 La Spinetta Barbaresco GallinaPiedmont$306
2017 G.D. Vajra Barolo AlbePiedmont$108
2016 Pittnauer PannobileBurgenland$64
2017 Moric Reserve BlaufränkischBurgenland$89
2019 Scorpo Old Vines ShirazMornington Peninsula$52
2016 Yeringberg ShirazYarra Valley$93
2018 Frankland Estate SmithCullam SyrahFrankland River$118
2019 Glaetzer Amon-Ra ShirazBarossa Valley$101
2017 Frédéric Mabileau ‘Racines’ Cabernet FrancLoire Valley$59
2018 Yeringberg CabernetsYarra Valley$98
2020 Corymbia Cabernet SauvignonMargaret River$64
2018 Frankland Estate Olmo’s RewardFrankland River$84
2015 Balnaves ‘The Tally’ Reserve Cabernet SauvignonCoonawarra$107


2018 Scorpo Eocene High Density Vineyard Pinot Noir Mornington Peninsula $87

Abel clone vines were close-planted in ’13 at 10 000 vines/ha. Hand-picked, wild yeast-open fermented with 10% whole bunches, 20 days on skins, matured for 13 months in French oak (20% new). The fruit is deep and complex, no surprise, but the savoury tannin support has also been well managed. Watch this space.

95 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion

2017 Taupenot-Merme Gevrey-Chambertin Burgundy $182

The 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Village has the prettiest bouquet among Romain Taupenot’s Village Crus, offering precocious red cherry, crushed strawberry and orange pith aromas. The detailed palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity and a poised finish. Just superb.

90-92 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media

2017 Jean Tardy Nuits-Saint-Georges Bas de Combe Burgundy $190

The 2017 Nuits Saint-Georges Au Bas de Combe Vieilles Vignes has a strict, backward, “correct” bouquet of mineral-driven black fruit and plenty of sous-bois and leafy aromas complemented by scents of black tea. The palate is medium-bodied with a gorgeous fleshy, almost silky texture matched with a fine bead of acidity. It does not possess the persistence of the nascent 2018, but it feels delineated, with just the right amount of spice on the aftertaste. Very fine.

92 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media

2017 Latour-Giraud Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes Burgundy $190

Here the cool nose is at once more elegant and higher – toned with its array of fresh and ripe essence of dark berry fruit, warm earth and reserve of spice elements. The caressing yet markedly powerful larger scaled flavours possess fine mid – p alate concentration while exhibiting excellent power and drive on the muscular finish. This is presently quite tightly wound and it will need at least half a dozen years to become more civilized.

92 points. Allen Meadows, Burghound

2013 Bernhard Huber Schlossberg Pinot Noir Grosses Gewächs Baden $164

The faintly turbid colour doesn’t set the heart racing, but the perfumed bouquet does with its cherry all-sorts fruit and multi-spices, the supple palate underlining the great quality of the wine. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Burgundy of this calibre at the same price. Drink to 2030.

97 points. James Halliday 


2019 G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba Coste & Fossati Piedmont $54

Complex and tightly wound Dolcetto here. Fresh blackberry and dark cherry, spice and black pepper, thyme and aniseed, new leather. Medium-bodied, glassy and firm feel to acidity, intense shale-like tannin, tangy boysenberry and blackberry, a distinctly ‘mineral’ feel to it, and a lively finish of fine length. Pretty tense as at now, and while I do enjoy the tussle, it really needs a few more years in bottle before it rolls out the goods.

94 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

2017 Cigliuti Barbaresco Serraboella Piedmont $141

The 2017 Barbaresco Serraboella captures all the best the vintage has to offer. Floral and lifted, the 2017 is a bit more red-fruited and lighter in body than most vintages, but it has plenty of depth as well. A more gracious, finessed side of this Neive cru emerges over time. The 2017 is a sensual, arrestingly beautiful Barbaresco from Cigliuti, although it has plenty of tannic grip. In 2017, the Serraboella doesn’t have the heft and darkness of most years, but at the same time, it reveals a different facet of this site, which is quite intriguing. Sadly, yields are down 80%. The Serraboella is typically done in a combination of cask and smaller barrels, but yields were tiny, only enough to fill a single cask. My impression is that the Serraboella could turn out to be one of the hidden gems of 2017.

93+ pointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media 

2017 La Spinetta Barbaresco Gallina Piedmont $306

La Spinetta Barbaresco Gallina is a beautiful, focused red with intensity and brilliance, showing cherry, watermelon, truffle and mushroom aromas and flavours. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and refined. Long finish. Try after 2023.

95 points. James Suckling,

2017 G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe Piedmont $108

A lovely fruit forward and charming Barolo here. Raspberry, cherry, menthol and sweet spices. Medium-bodied, spicy red fruits, perfume and juicy flavours. Tea leaf fragrance, a bit of liquorice and bergamot, gentle brick dust tannin, affable and succulent, with a long and cool mentholated finish. Drinking well now, but a few years will see it rise and shine. Excellent.

93+ points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

2016 Pittnauer Pannobile Burgenland $64

Funky smokiness reigns on the nose, allowing glimpses of cherry to peek through. The palate is juicy and has black cherry notes at its pulsating, fresh core that is cushioned by velvety tannins. A hint of dark chocolate starts swinging by, but it is juiciness that prevails, caught in a fine gauze of smooth tannins. There is something unforced and free about this. Lovely.

94 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast

2017 Moric Reserve Blaufränkisch Burgenland $89

The 2017 Blaufränkisch Burgenland Moric Reserve is deep, concentrated and very intense on the nevertheless pure, fresh and floral nose that is populated with dark, tart fruit aromas along with floral and peppery notes. Silky textured, finessed and almost light on its feet in the first moment, this is a pure, salty and very fresh and tensioned Blaufränkisch with the texture of a tart Pinot Noir with fine-grained tannins and the saline purity of the terroirs in Lutzmannsburg and St Georgen. Add Zagersdorf and you get a complete, ambitious and terroir-driven blend of Austria’s greatest red wine variety. This 2017 is so pure and tensioned (due to a percentage of whole clusters) that I recommend cellaring it for at least 3-5 years. The finish is almost Chablis-like. Bottled in September 2019 and tasted in June 2020.

95 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate


2019 Scorpo Old Vines Shiraz Mornington Peninsula $52

This is almost black, with a shot of red/purple. It’s not a wallflower. There are plenty of steadfast grainy tannins reined in by a ribbon of acidity. Smells great, tastes even better: black cherries, exotic spices plus sumac, the flavours are intense and satisfying. It opens up more and more, revealing a gloss across the full-bodied palate.

95 points. Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion

2016 Yeringberg Shiraz Yarra Valley $93

Three clones, four small ferments, mostly destemmed, some whole berry, some whole bunch, and some Viognier co-fermented with some parcels (3% overall), 8-21 days on skins, 10 months maturation in barrel. Juicy, medium-bodied red berry flavours are well balanced, oak restraint is good.

94 points, James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion

2018 Frankland Estate SmithCullam Syrah Frankland River $118

The quality of tannin is what marks it out as a special wine. It’s all stone and graphite, a landslide of wonderful tannin, wrapped in succulent black fruit, perfume of jasmine and cracked black pepper. It’s cool and long, distinctly ‘mineral’ and firm to close. A new benchmark for this producer. 

96 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

2019 Glaetzer Amon-Ra Shiraz Barossa Valley $101

The 2019 Amon Ra Shiraz is 100% Shiraz and 100% from the 2019 vintage, as Ben Glaetzer felt it—unlike many previous vintages—didn’t need to be freshened with a small proportion of younger wine. From old vines in the Ebenezer district of the northern Barossa Valley, it offers classic notes of blackberries and spice, framed by hints of cedar and vanilla (it’s aged in 100% new oak hogsheads, mostly French). It’s full-bodied yet crisp, supple but tight and really long. Offering lovely dark fruit, hints of espresso and black olive, it finishes mouthwatering and firm. Give it some time in the cellar and drink it from 2025 – 2040.

96+ points. Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate


2017 Frédéric Mabileau ‘Les Racines’ Cabernet Franc Loire Valley $59

The 2017 Bourgueil Racines comes from 50+-year-old vines on clay-silex soils and was aged in demi-muids (600-litre oak barrels) for 18 months. The wine opens deep, pure and fresh, with spicy-mineral as well as bloody and concentrated dark fruit aromas on the nose. Round and intense, with a well-structured and refreshing juiciness and mineral grip, this full-bodied Cabernet Franc is sustainable and fresh on the fine and aromatic finish. Still young, the wine should benefit from further bottle aging. 12.5% alcohol.

90 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

2018 Yeringberg Cabernets Yarra Valley $98

Beautiful perfume of dried flowers, sweet tobacco and spice, blackcurrant and redcurrant, even almond meal. Dense and dark, with a smattering of dried herb, ripe cherry, crisp acidity, firm grainy tannin, and a distinctly ‘mineral’ and savoury finish of exemplary length. It’s a textbook example of superb Yarra Valley Cabernet.

96 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

2020 Corymbia Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River $64

Distinctly saline smelling wine. I’m thinking iodine and seaweed and Dutch liquorice, along with blackberry and boysenberry, with some cumin and green cardamom spice. Medium-bodied, dense and tightly packed gravelly tannin, slight tamarind quality lends some tang, dried black olive, maritime feel a plenty, avast ye matey! A gummy chew to the long finish, and more towards redcurrant flavour in the aftertaste. Tension and structure. Quite different, but so very good.

95 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front 

2018 Frankland Estate Olmo’s Reward Frankland River $84

Lovely bright purplish colour introduces this classy wine. It’s fragrant with appealing raspberry and blackcurrant scents, backed up by sensitively handled cedary and chocolatey oak input. It offers lovely freshness on the nose, at the same time suggesting real power. The palate follows suit with a solid undercurrent of concentrated fruit extract, rich and long, tangy with acidity and supported by firm, grainy tannins. A wine that cries out for bottle age to build on its excellent foundations.

95 points. Ralph Kyte-Powell, The Real Review

2015 Balnaves ‘The Tally’ Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra $107

Deep, dark and foreboding in the glass, lovely colour. Aromatics of plums, mulberries, chocolate, vanilla and a bit of cedar and tobacco, there’s a lot going on here. The palate is all deep, dark and not so mysterious. There’s blackberry, mulberry, blackcurrant, you name a dark fruit, it’s lurking here somewhere. Then there’s a briary, brambly, spice aspect that adds a bit of exotica and then the tannin kicks in to make sure that the wine has true definition, purpose and a raison d’être. A big-time cabernet that doesn’t pull any punches. Throw into a decanter, shake it up and give it plenty of air now or stick it away for 15 to 20 years.

97 points. Aaron Brasher, The Real Review

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