Category Archives: Red Wine

The Basics of Red Wine Types You Should Know

From the eclectic lush greens and cool climates of Southern Australia to the warmer states of Western and Northern Australia, red wines are produced almost everywhere in this smallest continent of the world. Here are some basics that will help you to identify the red wine types of Australia.

red-wine-types

The Grape Variety

The dominant grape variety listed on the label is what designates the type to a wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Grenache, and Tempranillo are some famous varieties used for making wine types red.

Cool Climate and Warm Climate Wines

The regions experiencing cool climate produce varieties that have different flavours when compared to those from warmer regions. Influenced by higher elevations, water bodies and sunlight, the cool climate wines are low on tannins and alcohol. Gamay and Pinot Noir are the two popular cool-climate red wine types. On the other side, the warm climate wines have deeper red colour, higher alcohol contents, and are more tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mourvedre are warm-climate red wine types.

Single Varietals and Blended Wines

Single varietals are the wines made from 100% fruit of a single variety. Blended wines are crafted from two or more than two grape varieties. Most of the New World wines are named after the variety or varieties used to craft a wine, while the Old World utilises the region in the name of the wine. Australian wines use both region and the variety to provide clarity about the wine specifications. For example, the wine crafted from Shiraz and Merlot from Barossa Valley will have Shiraz Merlot Barossa Valley featured on its label.

The Impact of Terroir

The structure of the soil and the climatic conditions define the terroir of a region. The impact of a terroir can be easily noticed in the wines produced in that particular region. The adaptability of grape vines to the climate of the region along with the viticultural practices followed by the wine producer determines the aromas, flavours and tannins of the wine. A red wine type which produces light-bodied wine in one part of a country can produce medium bodied wine in another region of the same country or vice versa. Both red wine types will have different tastes as well. This all happens because of the varied terroirs.

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Four prominent red grape varieties in Australia

Here are 4 prominent red grape varieties of Australia and some information on initial plantings of these grape varieties and the total plantings –

  • Shiraz – Initial plantings in late 1700’s in Australia. Total plantings of ~40,000 ha vineyards in Australia.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Initial plantings in mid 1800’s. There are total of ~25,000 ha vineyards in Australia.
  • Grenache – Initial plantings in 1840s. There are total of ~1,500 ha of  Grenache vineyards in Australia
  • Pinot Noir – Initial plantings in 1830s. There are total of ~5,000 ha of Pinot Noir vineyards in Australia

Four-Prominent-Red-Grape-varieties-Australia

Other red grape varieties of Australia that are worth the mention are Mourvedre, Temperanillo and Petit Verdot.

Shiraz vs Cabernet Sauvignon: Wine Regions, Aromas, Texture, Food Pairing

Did you always wonder how Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, two of the most popular grape varieties, fare against one another? Known for being used to produce some of the boldest and flavoursome red wines with intense colours, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are similar in many ways, but they have certain differences too. Read on to know how Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon fare on similar aspects:

Shiraz vs Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Regions

Talking particularly about Australian regions, Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is grown in hot climate zones and dominates the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions.

Cabernet Sauvignon rules well in the Maritime climate of two of its kingdoms – Margaret River and Coonawarra regions.

Aromas

Aroma characters in Shiraz wines can range from violets to berries, espresso, chocolate, cloves, and black pepper.

Wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon are known for their intense fruit flavour, subtle minty notes, blackcurrant, and grassy aromas.

Texture

Australian Shiraz is a full-bodied, jammier fruit with softer tannin. The high to low acidity and tannin levels of Shiraz grapes help in producing wines with promising aging potential.

Australian Cabernet Sauvignon makes dense, dark and tannic wines with noticeable acidity which contributes to aging potential of the wines.

Food Pairing

Think big and spicy flavours when it comes to food pairing with Australian Shiraz wines. Grilled or roast beef, beef stews, spicy sausages, and hard cheeses like Cheddar, pair extremely well with Australian style Shiraz wines.

On the other hand, steak is a great choice for pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Other food pairings that enhance the taste of a Cabernet Sauvignon wine include aged Cheddar cheese, grilled Portabello mushroom, braised beef, and grilled lamb.

Some Fine Examples

Shiraz wines

Tahbilk Rare 1860 Vines Shiraz 2013 Nagambie Lakes

Yalumba Rare & Fine Collection The Octavius Shiraz 2013 Barossa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon wines

Cullen Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Margaret River

Redman Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum 2013 Coonawarra

Get recharged with Reschke Bull Trader Shiraz

Reschke Bull trader shiraz

About the wine

This wine is well textured and vibrant. Filled with delicious flavours of blackberries and fruits. Makes good pairing with grilled eggplant and casseroles.

About the winery

The Reschke has a long history dating back to 1906. Hereford stud was established in the heart of Coonawarra during that time. It is also the source of inspiration for the bull logo on the labels of Reschke wines. The logo stands for ‘quality with no compromise’ which the winery deeply believes in.

Burke Reschke belongs to the fourth generation of Reschke family. In 1989, he undertook the initiative of growing grapes for other wineries present in the region. There was high demand of the grapes being grown at the Reschke estate and were used to produce some of the iconic wines. Empyrean was the first wine produced under the Reschke brand in 1998.

In Coonawarra, Reschke has vineyards spreading over 400 acres, most of which is Cabernet Sauvignon.

The racy – Rymill The Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon

Rymill the dark horse cabernet sauvignon

About the Wine

Rymill The Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon makes an excellent pairing with roast pork and ravioli with mushrooms. Cellaring potential of this wine is 5-7 years, although it can also be consumed young.

About Rymill Coonawarra

The winery got established during early 70’s. The founder of the Rymill Coonawarra winery is Peter Riddoch.

Coonawarra region is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Not surprising, over half of its vineyards of the winery are planted of Cab Sauv grapes.

The winery believes that great wines from great grapes and the vineyards which are 40 years old rightly exemplify this. Apart from Cabernet Sauvignon some of the other grape varieties which are grown – Merlot, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay.

About the Winemaker

Sandrine Gimon is the senior winemaker. Having studied in Reims at the University of Sciences at the school of winemaking which selects only a handful of 24 students for its annual course, she completed her internship from Champagne and worked as a consultant winemaker. After having traveled and worked in Romania and Western Australia, she joined Rymill Coonawarra in 2005.

Awaken your senses – Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon

Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon

Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant and medium-bodied wine. It contains exciting fragrances of blackcurrants and choco-mint. The palate is complex with the notes of black olive and fine, silky tannins. Consume it young, however,cellaring it for a period of 5-10 years will benefit the wine further.

It was awarded 98 points in the Best 20 Reds Over $25 by James Halliday and was listed in James Halliday Top 100 wines of 2017.

Finest Shiraz Wine – Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz

Henschke Mount Edelstone

The first vintage of Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz was released in 1952.The 1956 vintage enjoyed immense success in various wine competitions across Australia and was recognized as one of the best Australian Shiraz.

The wine from the 2014 vintage is deep crimson colour and is packed with aromas of blackberries, blueberries and dark plums.Plums and blackberry flavors rule the well-balanced palate.Moderately high alcohol level can be found in the wine.The fruit of this wine is sourced from Mount Edelstone vineyard which is 100 years old and low yielding.The wine can be cellared for 25 years and has been awarded 97 points in James Halliday Wine Companion 2018.