The 5 Best Red Wines To Try This Winter

Over the winter months we have covered some of the most outstanding reds from our part of the world. We’ve brought you a selection of some of the best we have tried with ‘bites’ of information that you can share when you bring these wines out at the next occasion. This is the last of our winter selection and in our spring edition we will start to focus on the aromatic whites, the rosés and beyond. In the meantime however here is our final selection of winter reds, chosen not just because of the outstanding quality, but also because of their unique properties too. Whether unique terroir, unique marketing concepts or because of International accolades, these are five wines I highly recommend that you try. They are the rockstar reds of 2017…

Grant Burge Corryton Park Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – Barossa Valley

Corryton Park is a stunning property in the South of the Barossa Valley near Mt Crawford. It is an enchanting property that Grant Burge admired as a young boy and ultimately bought in 1999 to establish an unrivaled Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. Higher up than most of the vineyards in the Barossa the region, Corryton Park has a slightly cooler climate, resulting in slower ripening of the fruit to deliver greater depth and complexity to their wines. With 2012 providing excellent growing conditions, Grant has produced an outstanding vintage – deep plum in colour with rich aromas of blackcurrant, black cherries, dark chocolate, cinnamon and woody spices that carries through to the palate with intense blackcurrant flavour complemented by hints of woody spice with a long and elegant finish and lingering tannins. The perfect accompaniment to a juicy eye fillet.

Selaks Velvety Pinot Noir 2016 – Marlborough

This year Selaks launched the Taste Collection to celebrate the intense flavours that make their wine distinct and to highlight the outstanding features of each particular varietal. With names like ‘Zesty’ for their Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Buttery’ for their Chardonnay and ‘Velvety’ for their Pinot Noir prominently displayed on their labels, it makes it very clear just what you can expect. We tried their Pinot Noir denoted as ‘Velvety’ and we were certainly not disappointed. Lightly oaked, this Pinot Noir glides smoothly across the palate like a soft velvet glove and seem to embrace your senses with a soft smooth finish. A lush red wine, medium red in colour, with purple hues and aromas of red berries and floral nuances. Luscious yet elegant in style with an abundance of ripe red fruit flavours at its core like plums and red cherries, with a hint of spice. This is a beautifully smooth wine from start to finish and the perfect accompaniment to beef bourguignon, dark chocolate or a rich blue cheese.

Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz 2013 – Barossa ValleySince 1962 Yalumba

Since 1962 Yalumba have been hand selecting the best Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz from premium Barossa vineyards to bottled as “The Signature” under their Rare and Fine Collection
The 2013 release is the 55th iteration of the Signature and honours their Director of Wine Andrew Murphy.

The wine has rich aromatics and a lovely palate structure coming from the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes complimented by the sweetness, fulness and depth of the Shiraz all from selected vineyards strictly within the Barossa valley. Dry and warm conditions during the 2013 delivered concentrated flavours to the fruit with distinguished resultsThe wine is so dark, the

The wine is so dark, the colour is almost impervious. The complex aromatics of leafy mint and cool spices coming from the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes seem to defy the flavour which is all about the Shiraz with dark plums, licorice and berry fruits. Deep tannins mean that this wine will cellar for a very long time. The winemaker recommends that you hold onto this wine for at least 5 years – if you can – otherwise break out a big juicy aged Florentine T-bone steak and enjoy it now!

SOHO Black Collection Havana Pinot Noir 2015 – Marlborough

We mentioned in one of our earlier columns that Marlborough Pinot Noirs were destined to become our next big wine export on the back of the hugely successful Sauvignon Blanc market, The Pinot Noir being produced in the region is outstanding, and it appears that the international wine community agrees!

At this years recent International Wine Challenge (IWC), SOHO’s Black Collection Havana Pinot Noir 2015 took out, not just Gold, but also the Trophy for Best Marlborough Pinot Noir. But even more exciting, they took out the highly coveted Trophy for Best New Zealand Pinot Noir.

SOHO winery is the brainchild of Rachel Carter, Established in 2009 and operated by an all girl team on Waiheke, producing wine “to be served in the best restaurants and bars around the globe” says Rachel. With labels inspired by luxury designer Tom Ford, SOHO produce wine from three outstanding wine regions across New Zealand including Marlborough, Waiheke and Central Otago. This particular wine was produced from fully organic grapes grown in the Southern Valleys Vineyard in Marlborough.
Tasting this wine you’ll be under no illusions as to why they took out the trophy for best New Zealand Pinot Noir at the IWC. It is a beautifully balanced wine with gorgeous structure from beginning to end. If it were possible to visualise what that flavor would look like – image a perfectly formed Havana cigar. Red cherries and forest floor come through on the nose with a core of dark sweet chocolate and black cherry on the palate and lovely velvety tannins and long alluring finish.

Break out the cigars, this is wine that should be celebrated. Push the boat out and enjoy it with something different like charcuterie, duck or boar but this will be perfect with any red meat or just on its own.

Villa Maria Library Release Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Hawkes Bay (Gimblett Gravels)

Something we rarely see in wine shops around New Zealand are wines that have been cellared. Wine writers all talk about how great the wine will be after cellaring for 5 to 10 years, but rarely does the average person get to try these, as most of wine is consumed within the first year of its release. This is a dilemma that Sir George and his team at Villa have set out to change with the release if the Villa Maria Library Release Collection. This is a collection of bordeaux style wines from the Hawkes Bay region that they have been bottled and stored for more than 5 years to release as an aged wine long after the initial bottling. While these were no doubt, outstanding wines to begin with, the result of nearly 10 years of cellaring is outstanding!

My pick of these was the Merlot dominant Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Using grapes for the coveted Gimblett Gravels region of Hawkes Bay and from what was reportedly an excellent vintage. 2010 delivered moderate temperature, dry conditions and prolonged ripening that brings intense flavours to this wine. Complex aromas of cassis, a potpourri of black and red fruits, and complex dried herbs, with a palate complemented by fine tannins and a long, elegant finish. The ageing process has delivered a much more rounded finish. This was no doubt a stunning wine to begin with, made even more stunning with the added ingredient of time.

Take time to enjoy it with a luxurious meal. Try it with something classical like Boeuf en Croute.

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