For some, Australian wine might be synonymous with big, burly Barossa Shiraz. And while this is a hallmark style, it should be no surprise that the sixth largest country in the world has so much more to offer.
A multitude of grape varieties and expressions of red wines can be found across Australia’s 65 designated wine regions. If you desire streamlined reds that hold tension and ripe fruit flavors in equal measure, look to Pinot Noir and Syrah from cool-climate regions like Tasmania and the Yarra Valley. Maybe you want something a bit more full-bodied and structured yet polished—in steps Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style red blends from Margaret River on the country’s west coast. If hedonistic reds are calling your name, seek out Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and GSM blends from the Barossa Valley and Coonawarra in South Australia.
From large production pours that offer great value to unique offerings that speak to Australia’s thriving natural wine scene, there’s truly something for everyone. Here are 12 diverse Aussie reds that are worth the discovery.
Delinquente 2020 Hell Red (Riverland); $29. Made from an unusual blend of Italian and Portuguese grape varieties organically grown in the Riverland, this red is unmistakably natural in style… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Devil’s Corner 2019 Pinot Noir (Tasmania); $19. This distinctly Tassie Pinot offers a bouncy red cherry tone in the fore backed by hints of cinnamon and earthy spice… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Fighting Gully Road 2016 Tempranillo (Beechworth); $32. From the cool climes and interesting soils of Beechworth in Victoria, this is a high-toned, lucid Tempranillo… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Giant Steps 2020 Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley); $35. This Pinot blends fruit from the estate’s four single vineyards. For much of Australia, 2020 was a rollercoaster of a vintage… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Grant Burge 2018 The Holy Trinity G-S-M (Barossa); $58. This longstanding brand is back in the country with one of its best-known labels. A classic G-S-M blend… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Jim Barry 2017 Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra); $15. This is a good example of modern Coonawarra (from a well-known Clare Valley producer) at a great price… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Luke Lambert 2019 Syrah (Yarra Valley); $65. From one of the coolest microclimates in the Yarra and grown on unusually volcanic soil to boot… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Paringa 2019 Shiraz (South Australia); $12. This is rich and ripe but comforting, like a blanket on a cold winter’s night… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Penfolds 2018 RWT Bin 798 Shiraz (Barossa Valley); $150. This wine offers layers of appealing aromas straight off the bat, from black cherry and currant to cedar… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Ringbolt 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River); $20. This Margaret River Cab walks on the riper, richer end of the spectrum. It opens with dark cherries, currants…SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Vasse Felix 2017 Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec (Margaret River); $165. The 2017 vintage of this winery’s top-tier red was on the cooler side for Margaret River… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Yangarra 2019 Ovitelli Grenache (McLaren Vale); $60. From the block next to the renowned High Sands vineyard, Ovitelli skips the oak in favor of 158 days on skins in large ceramic eggs… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW