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Australia Red Wines

Australia Red Wines

Australia Red Wines

Australia is one of the New World’s most innovative and reputable regions, and a sip or two of their glorious red wines can quickly explain why. Infused with the essence of noble grapes such as Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, these reds will take your senses on a thrill ride.
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1981 penfolds grange hermitage Australia Red

The 1981 stood out as slightly superior. Winemaker John Duval always felt this was a tannic style of Grange, but the wine has shed its tannins, and this is one of the few vintages where the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon was above 10%. Sweet notes of creme de cassis, cedarwood, charcoal, and barbecue spices are followed by a full-bodied, opulent wine displaying heady amounts of alcohol, glycerin, and density in its full-bodied, skyscraper-like texture. I was drinking this wine with great pleasure in the mid-nineties, yet here it is nearly 15 years later, and the wine does not appear to have budged much from its evolutionary state. This is a testament to how remarkably well these wines hold up, and age at such a glacial pace.Grange, Penfolds’ flagship wine, is, by many accounts, the most renowned and world-famous wine produced in Australia, and these six vintages from my cellar all acquitted themselves well. These wines are almost always Shiraz, but many vintages include less than 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and there are cross-appellations blends from vineyards in the Barossa and McLaren Vale.Robert Parker | 97 RP

97
RP
As low as $735.00
1998 penfolds grange hermitage Australia Red

A wine that flirts with perfection, and should rival the 1986 as one of the legendary Granges produced, the 1998 has one of the highest alcohol contents (nearly 15%) as well as one of the highest percentages of Shiraz in the blend (97%). Its stunning purple color is accompanied by exceptionally sweet aromas of blackberry liqueur intermixed with barbecue spices, an endearing, smoky earthiness, pepper, roasted meats, and coffee. Huge, massive, unctuously textured, and extraordinarily youthful, this impressive wine is a candidate for perfection. It should continue to evolve over the next three decades.Grange, Penfolds’ flagship wine, is, by many accounts, the most renowned and world-famous wine produced in Australia, and these six vintages from my cellar all acquitted themselves well. These wines are almost always Shiraz, but many vintages include less than 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and there are cross-appellations blends from vineyards in the Barossa and McLaren Vale.Robert Parker | 98+ RPVery deep red-ruby. Smoky, deeply concentrated fruit bomb of a nose: blackberry, dark plum, cassis; creamy vanilla and lightly toasty coconutty oak; and ethereal background notes of white pepper, smoked meats, musky spices, tar and licorice. Profoundly concentrated but velvety-smooth and seamless; impressively muscular and thickly coated with oak, and bound by drying, astringent tannins. Without question the most concentrated Grange of all time, utterly steeped in blackberry flavors; a real show pony. It’s also the most alcoholic Grange ever made, and at a declared 14.5% does taste warm and spirity - the first Grange to do so. It also ventures to some degree into the realm of currant and prune. No doubt a brilliant wine, but only time will tell if, with its elevated alcohol and its superripe flavors, this 1998 version ranks with the very best Grange vintages.Vinous Media | 97 VMA wine of surprising subtlety for the vintage, playing its ripe cherry, red plum and herb flavors against firm tannins that have a bit of grit to them. But those lively cherry and raspberry flavors burst through, and there’s a nice hint of green herbs lingering around the finish, which doesn’t subside easily.--Australian reds blind retrospective. 9,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

99
RP-HG
As low as $675.00
2006 penfolds grange hermitage Australia Red

Made from fruit coming predominantly from the Barossa Valley this year (97%) and containing 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2006 Grange has been added to my list of favorite recent vintages. Deep garnet-purple colored, it’s still a little youthfully mute, offering notes of warm cherries, black currants, anise, coffee and toast with underlying hints of soy, yeast extract, black olives and Indian spices. Tight-knit and solidly structured on the medium to full-bodied palate, the concentrated fruit is densely coiled around the firm grainy tannins and very crisp acidity at this stage, but promises something very special in the years to come. It finishes very long, complex and layered with the cedar poking through the fruit purity. Patience is required for this vintage; it should begin opening out around 2016 and drink to 2030+.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPBeautifully aromatic, with scents of blueberry, plum, cherry, coffee and toasted walnut rising from the glass with intensity. After a hit of tannins the rich, focused fruit flavors take over, showing glints of pepper, mint and cocoa and lingering effortlessly. Best from 2016 through 2030. 2,000 cases imported. — HSWine Spectator | 98 WSContaining 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 100% new American oak hogsheads for 18 months, the 2006 Penfolds Grange is tightly wound and dense, possessing a core of smoky black fruits, lots of oak, espresso roast, dried spice, and mineral characteristics on both the nose and palate. Powerful, rich, and beautifully balanced on the palate, with a serious, concentrated, medium to full bodied feel, crisp acids, and a very long, tannic and structured finish, this age-worthy beauty needs a solid 5-8 years in the cellar to fully integrate its components, and should have a very long drink window.Jeb Dunnuck | 96+ JD(98% shiraz and 2% cabernet sauvignon): Deep ruby. Highly aromatic nose offers black raspberry, cherry pit, potpourri and minerals. Dense, lush and sweet but very energetic, offering spicy red and dark berry, dark chocolate, rose pastille and licorice flavors complemented by spicy, sweet oak. Shows bitter chocolate and cherry-cola nuances on the extremely persistent, spice-accented finish. This should be approachable on the young side.Vinous Media | 94 VMNot quite the massive monster that is the 2004 Grange, the 2006 is still no shrinking violet. It’s full bodied, muscular and extracted, and while the flavors veer toward espresso and dark chocolate, there’s also a ribbon of raspberry fruit running through the wine from start to long, dusty finish. Drink 2015–2025, and probably beyond.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEA balanced and intense red, with sliced meat, blackberries and spices. Full body, with silky and refine tannins and hints of new wood. Sweet tobacco and plums. A little shy now. Give it three to four years.James Suckling | 93 JS

98+
RP
As low as $1,199.00
2017 bests great western thomson family shiraz Australia Red

Hand-picked and sorted 1868 planting, 50% crushed, 45% whole berry, 5% whole bunch. You’d stand up for royalty, and that’s this wine. To use the spit bucket is lèse-majesté. Just savour it, drop by drop, as it magically finds its way down your throat. It’s got the full rainbow of cool-grown shiraz flavours, a conjunction with a year made for it by Dionysius and, glory be, comes with a screwcap. Drink to 2067James Halliday | 99 JH

99
JH
As low as $179.00
2019 Penfolds Grange

It’s a hard act to follow the monumental 2018 Grange, which – priced at AU$1000 for the first time on release – earned a slew of perfect scores. Chief winemaker Peter Gago regards the 1989, 1999 and 2009 as ’sleeper vintages’ so urges against any rash prejudgement on this 2019. Sure, it is not as showy as the 2018 was on release, but if it is anything like the 1999 when it hits its stride in 20 years’ time, then patience will be rewarded. The imposing structure, concentration and sheen of new American oak remains the trademark style, but the most powerful wine in the Penfolds stable – officially Bin 95 – is nevertheless becoming increasingly more approachable in recent vintages, and this 2019 is no exception (although approachable remains a relative term for a wine with 40 to 50 years ahead of it). Initial high-toned aromas of chinotto and kirsch lead to spicy liquorice, cedar freshness and more savoury, earthy tones. The palate is mighty: bold, chewy espresso oak char overlaying ripe black berries, plum pudding, rosemary, cured meat and balancing acidity. A blend of Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Clare Valley fruit, aged 19 months in new American oak hogsheads. Released at £670.Decanter | 97 DECThe bold, expansive 2019 Grange (97% Shiraz, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon) spent 19 months in larger new American Oak and is powerful and expressive as it delivers a dense core of coca, blackberry and baked terracotta aromas, all well backed by toasted coconut oak. Mouth-filing, expansive and seriously tannic, it then delivers waves of dark berry flavor laced with touches of spice, leading to a rich, muscular finish. It’s built for the long haul, so don’t even think of opening for at least a decade.Vinous Media | 96 VMThe 2019 Grange is 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s the pinnacle of the Penfolds release (although if you ask me, the Chardonnays are my favorite part) and a wine that takes some understanding prior to scoring. The key to Grange is the old wines; it is a style of wine heavily fortified with oak (100% new, AP Johns American oak), tannin, fruit (multi-regional) and everything else. In the mouth it can be an almost impossible constellation of flavor and texture to wrap the mind around. But in time, yes, in time, this wine shows its capacity for grace and majesty. Ten years is too young to open a bottle. 20 years is about right. 30 and beyond, not a problem. It is a cellaring proposition of the highest order, but in youth it can feel impenetrable. So, this wine in front of me now has toasted coconut, dusted licorice, roasted meat, violets, burnt toffee, pastrami, coffee grounds, crushed ants/formic, roasted pecans ... all of these dark and broody (and chunky) things. 2019 was a hot year and one marred by low yields due to some inclement weather during flowering. This has meant that, as a whole, the wines have felt big, dark and compressed. This is no exception. It’s a product of the year and the state from whence it has come and in the mold and style of Grange, typical. It will be even better. For now, ne touche pas. 14.5% alcohol sealed under natural cork.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPA blend of 97% Shiraz with a 3% splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2019 Penfolds Grange was sourced with 82% of the fruit from Barossa Valley and the rest from McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, and Clare Valley. It was aged for 19 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads (slightly larger than the classic Bordeaux barriques) and is deep garnet-purple in color. It needs a swirl or two to bring out fragrant scents of garrigue, tilled soil, black olives, and fallen leaves, over a core of blackberry preserves, baked plums, and boysenberries, with emerging wafts of cast-iron pan and star anise. The full-bodied palate is super-tight knit with a firm, grainy texture and a crisp backbone supporting the muscular black fruit and savory layers, finishing long and minerally with a touch of star anise.The Wine Independent | 95 TWI

As low as $599.00
2019 penfolds shiraz st henri Australia Red

Immediately spicy and complex, this has a rich blackberry and dark-plum nose, together with dark-chocolate and tarry, earthy elements. The palate has a very rich, fleshy feel with such ripe dark-plum, dark-chocolate, blackberry and mulberry flavors on offer. Generous, yet balanced. A South Australian blend of McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Padthaway, Wrattonbully and The Peninsulas. Drink or hold. Screw cap.James Suckling | 97 JSThe St Henri Shiraz is often one of my favorite reds in the Penfolds Collection, due to the ability of the fruit to shine through the fine sheath of oak that encases it. At this stage, and I know you will hear this often, the wine still represents good value. The 2019 St Henri Shiraz is elegantly structured, with the 2019 vintage showing the warmth and intensity without overstepping balance or line. Texturally, this will only increase in its silky shape, which comes with the gentle suggestion to decant this if you insist on drinking it within five years from harvest (i.e., anytime from now to 2024). This 2019 is shaped by abundant red and purple fruit (and a splash of blue), charry spice and fine tannins. Gorgeous.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPSweet rose petals and stewed strawberries on the nose with touches of green flowers giving the florality. Smooth and supple, lovely clarity and poise. I like the light touch in the glass, really clean and pure with red berry fruits. Juicy and so alive on the palate really giving this so much appeal and drinkability. I love the lift and the brightness while still having depth and layers of chalky tannins. Delicious and moreish.Decanter | 96 DECOpaque ruby. An expansive, complex bouquet evokes ripe dark fruits, espresso, candied violet, vanilla and sandalwood, and an exotic spice nuance emerges slowly. Conveys a suave blend of depth and energy to sweet blueberry, kirsch and fruitcake flavors, supported by a core of juicy acidity. Shows outstanding clarity and spicy lift on the youthfully tannic finish, which strongly echoes the blue fruit and floral notes.Vinous Media | 95 VMShows wonderful density, with fig paste, spiced plum cake and black olive tapenade, a touch of toasted cumin and black licorice to complement the core of huckleberry and blueberry flavors. The toothsome tannins are a terrific muscular background for all of the generous flavors and the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2035. 385 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThis vintage of St. Henri opens with an opulent nose that you could dive into. Plump black currant, raspberry tart, mint and dusty pepper spice accompany barrel-derived notes like chocolate and charred vegetables. The palate is still tightly wound, even austere, with sandpaper-textured tannins and lifted acidity. Still in its infancy, this wine should be cellared another five to seven years.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThe volume is turned up on this wine’s fruit intensity, the heat of 2019 edging the plummy fruit with a little prune. This is a big vintage of St. Henri, brickish, polished and rich without seeming sweet, a major red for red meat.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 91 W&S

97
JS
As low as $85.00
2021 standish the standish shiraz Australia Red

The 2021 The Standish Shiraz was made with fruit from the Laycock family vineyard, Greenock, with 30% whole bunches in the ferment. The Standish Shiraz was the first cuvée launched by Dan Standish in 1999, and the wine is routinely typified by its muscular tannin shape and earthy, savory fruit. The most attractive part of this wine is the splay of exotic market spice (namely sumac, black pepper, star anise and fresh cardamom) that sails in on the coattails of the red/purple fruit. It has all the exoticism and romance of a hike through the mountains of Morocco, yet it, perhaps more than any other wine in the collection, speaks of the Barossa in a clear enunciated voice. So, where does it fit in 2021? The 2021 The Standish Shiraz is finer, prettier and lighter than I have ever seen it at this stage of its life. It has all the spice and Barossan identity that is expected; however, it misses the dense baritone of fruit that is present in earlier iterations. Whether you think that is a positive or not is up to you—I am fond of this wine throughout all its incarnations. Vintage variation is responsible for the spark of curiosity and joy that I experience every year during this release, and the real triumph in 2021 is the ability of the vineyard (this vineyard) to shine through the season that shaped it. 14.9% alcohol.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RP

96
RP
As low as $129.00

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