Whether you’re planning to give the gift of wine this Christmas, or would just like to enjoy a fine drop with family and friends, you’ve come to the right place.
Now in its 34th Edition, Australian Wine Vintages (also known as The Gold Book) is the essential guide to discovering the best local wines this year, no matter the price point, or your level of wine knowledge.
Written by Master of Wines Rob Geddes, it provides detailed tasting notes of over 3500 wines from Australia and New Zealand in print, and over 13,500 in the App.
Empowering wine buyers by demystifying the experience, Rob showcases the top 10% of Australian wineries that are proven consistent to drink, cellar and invest.
With over 100 new wineries and 1000 new wines included in this edition, the book includes past vintage details for those who are cellaring or trading back vintages, as well as a guide to the various wine varieties and regions so you know what to look for.
Accompanied by a panel of experts from other Master of Wine recipients, Sommeliers, major retail buyers and winemakers, all of the wines featured are tasted independently and objectively.
Below are Rob’s top 5 wine picks for the year – we’ll drink to that!
1. Evans & Tate Redbrook 2012 Shiraz, $49, (drink by 2018)
Excellent fruit complexity with black berry, red cherry and black olive fruit aromas and well integrated oak that sets up a spicy edge to add class, charm and complexity. The palate has fine grained soft tannins. Flavour flickering through red fruits spices, five spice and cinnamon, smoked meats make an appearance, yet the dark fruit core is ever present with white pepper spice to close. This is a really well made and crafted wine with the quality tannins adding to the red fruit flavours on the finish.
2. St John’s Road Shiraz Block 3 2014, $38, (drink by 2027)
Drinks well now and has potential for a longer shelf life. Very fragrant, lively complex ripe black fruits, with the classic regional herbal touch. The palate is elegant and long, medium-full bodied with an appealing fresh dark berry middle palate, unpacking into dried spices, smoked meats and long fruit flavours. A final kick of lifted red cherry on the finish that lingers for 30 plus seconds. Lovely dry red style.
3. Giaconda Nantua Les Deux 2015 Chardonnay, $50, from Beechworth (drink by 2018)
Aromas are stylish, a little forward, with polished fruits of great balance, oak spice, bergamot, cinnamon, apples, and creamy lees. The palate is generous medium-bodied to drink now and fleshy with great balance and enough savoury winemaking elements to offset the fruit ripeness.
4. Craiglee Wines 2014, $50, shiraz from Sunbury (drink by 2030)
Victorian spice complexity with fresh red fruit brightness with white and black pepper aromas. The palate lines up the fruit and spice wraps them in age worthy shiraz tannins that bridge front to back of tongue with acid fruit harmony on the finish. This wine will drink well for a long time.
5. Ross Hill pinnacle series 2014, $40, cabernet sauvignon from Orange
Extraordinary fragrance that you can wait years to find in a wine with the classic floral cabernet sauvignon top aroma notes of violets, blue berry, and red currant. Often these aromas do not follow through; here the playful energy is excellently executed. Drink it young to catch the magic.
Rob Geddes, MW, is the author of Australian Wine Vintages ($34.95), now in its 34th edition. Visit www.robgeddesmw.com