Never has a delicious dozen of warming reds been more necessary. We wholeheartedly believe that this selection of wine will comfort and nourish you through the colder months.
To kick things off, we have a gamay that’s bursting with red fruit; next in line we have a local pinot with darker fruit profile, but equally as enticing. Continue with a trio of trusty French grenache-blended reds; a playful Languedoc and two personable southern Rhônes will see you destined for a great night in – with friends or without, we won’t judge. Local syrah might accompany your slow roasted meats, stews and all the hearty winter comfort cravings. Now being reliant on wine for pseudo-Euro holidays, we transport you to Spain by way of monastrell & garnacha; then la Bella Italia with a neat Chianti and Pugliese primitivo. Balanced parochialism, comes in the form of an overachieving Warramate cabernet and a cabernet franc from the masters at Bress.
No-one could have predicted the turbulent twists and turns this year has thrown us, but together we’re slowly coming out of this. So get comfy, get cosy, and thaw out with this carefully selected dozen of reds.
2018 Manoir du Carra Beaujolais-Villages, France $30
We’ve always got time for Beaujolais, especially when they’re this good. Defined by bright acidity and lifted red fruit, this can be thoroughly enjoyed, any old day. Run by the Sambardier family, fruit for this is hand harvested off gnarly gamay vines between 70 to 100 years old. Simple winemaking like carbonic maceration and no filtration, deliver the classic, sparky Beaujolais style we all love.
2019 Rochford Latitude Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, VIC $25
Family run, Rochford’s ethos is to produce the best fruit possible from their Yarra Valley vineyards. Gentle handling and extraction allow these wines to express this individuality. Latitude is no exception, with its dark pinot-fruit profile, spice and dried herb notes, this finishes with just the right amount of grippy structure.
2018 La Buvette Castelmaure, Languedoc-Roussillon, France $24
With its bright, crunchy fruit and cheeky attitude, this grenache and carignan blend is made for a party. Carbonic maceration is used to create a wine that’s lifted and round with plush tannins. Perfect as your first glass for the night (or the last!).
2017 Domaine La Fourmone L’Alflor Ventoux, France $24
A lovely muddle of grenache, cinsault and mourvèdre make up this beauty, grown between the towering Southern Rhône landmarks of the Mont Ventoux and the jagged Dentelles de Montmirail. With its purity, finesse and forward fruit, this will transport you from winter chills to a picturesque Ventoux summer’s day.
2018 Font de Joubert Côtes-du-Rhône, France $29
With a sister in the cellar and a brother tending vines, this is a family affair smack bang in the heart of classic Châteauneuf country. Warming spices and dark fruit make this the perfect winter wine to nestle up with.
2018 Fairbank Syrah, Sutton Grange, VIC $27
100% organically farmed syrah from the majestic Sutton Grange property near Castlemaine, this is made by the lovely and talented Melanie Chester. All pepper and spice on the nose, with a plush and juicy palate, and delicate powdery tannins.
2017 Chopo Monastrell/Syrah, Jumilla, Spain $26
Monastrell, aka mourvèdre, aka mataro. Whatever you like to call it, this is spicy, inky and full bodied with firm, drying tannins. This particular drop is from Jumilla on the hot fertile plateau in Spain’s south east. Here, arid plains are moderated by the glimmering Mediterranean Sea, which perfectly suits this late ripening beauty!
2018 Mondelion Garnacha, Calatayud, Spain $27
Gnarled old dry-grown vines in Spain’s nor’east produce this powerful grenache. In winter’s depths, its rich, ripe and concentrated fruit will serve you well. It’d happily accompany any slow cooked meal you’re simmering away on the stove. And a roaring fire wouldn’t hurt either.
2018 Castelsina Chianti, Tuscany, Italy $25
There couldn’t be a more perfect wine to pair with a delicious bowl of fresh pasta and ragû. With its red fruit, spice and great structure, we bet this Chianti will impress you. As sangiovese fermented in stainless steel and finished with time in old oak, this is a beautiful ambassador of Tuscan terroir.
2017 Varvaglione 12 e Mezzo Primitivo, Puglia, Italy $27
Hailing from Puglia in Italy’s deep south, this is luxurious and generous. Katie Parla’s excellent ‘Food of the Italian South’ highlights just how much this province has to offer in both its eating and drinking. This bottle expresses ripe plums, cherries, hints of vanilla and soft approachable tannins. Like liquid solace.
2019 Bress Cabernet Franc, Harcourt, VIC $27
Bress is a bit of a staff favourite. With minimal intervention in the winery and sustainable practices in the vineyard, this parent of cabernet sauvignon, has a heady bouquet of violets and bramble. Its ripe core is alluring, while its grippy finish will hold up to roasted dishes nicely – whether traditional Sunday lamb or exotic Ottolenghi veggie numbers.
2017 Warramate Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarra Valley VIC $30
Entrusted with continuing the legacy of local icon Yarra Yering, Sarah Crowe’s Midas touch is on show in this dark and chewy cabernet. Warramate shares a fence and the same owners as Yarra Yering, hence her involvement. This cabernet surprises, with its deep pockets of flavour and structure, that slowly reveal with a little time in glass.