Flametree Embers 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
A delicious soft, supple and medium-bodied red for everyday drinking pleasure. Flametree is located at the northern edge of Margaret River in Western Australia and produces a range of excellent-value wines, including this fruit-driven, fleshy early-drinking cabernet that can often be found on special. Old French oak has added palate interest but the main driving force here is ripe black berry and currant flavours. A terrific partner for red meat dishes like roast lamb. Try Vintage Cellars stores. $22.
Tim Adams 2019 Clare Valley Riesling
Tim Adams is one of the heroes of the Clare Valley, producing a range of interesting wines at realistic prices. This is one of the first 2019 rieslings to be released and it is a little ripper with oodles of bright, fresh citrus flavours, tangy minerality and refreshing acidity. Adams describes the conditions for the 2019 vintage in the Clare as “brilliant” and this wine is testimony to that. Pair with old school fish and chips. $24.
Gemtree 2019 Luna Temprana Tempranillo
All the wines from McLaren Vale winery Gemtree are produced organically and biodynamically, which produces wines with great flavour and fruit purity. This is made in the traditional Spanish “joven” style, unoaked with juicy berry and cherry flavours to the fore. Preservative free and vegan friendly, this hits all the right notes for environmentally aware inner-city types. It would be a terrific partner for spicy chicken dishes or empanadas. $26.
Penfolds 2016 St Henri
This is the standout wine in the newly released Penfolds collection that every red lover should make sure to grab a taste of. Soft but intense, this multi-regional South Australian blend is 95% shiraz and 5% cabernet and is matured in 50-year-old large oak vats. This is a wine that attracted huge interest among buyers in the US, so lovers of its seamless fruit-driven and spicy style should move quickly. A perfect present. $135.
All Saints Hip Sip Tawny
This flavoursome tawny from All Saints in Rutherglen, north-east Victoria, proved a formidable freeze fighter. Rutherglen is known for its range of outstanding fortified wines and this is the Brown family’s take on a hipper style that appeals to a younger demographic than the tweed-jacketed, leather-patched traditional port and muscat consumer. Drinkers are encouraged to match this with cheese, or hot chocolate, pour it into a cocktail, over ice cream or, best of all, enjoy in front of a wood fire. $20.