Top 10 reds under $20

from The Big Red Wine Book, by Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh

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The Big Red Wine Book

The Big Red Wine Book [©Hardie Grant Books]


Competition in the $20 or less range is hot and this year Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh set out to turn their annual guide to red wine into a bargain hunt. Here is a sneak peek at the top 10 reds under $20 from The Big Red Wine Book 2009/10.

1.    Yalumba The Scribbler 2007 $19.95

A beautiful example of this classic blend. It has power and structure, an enormous amount of length and terrific, supple texture.

2.    Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Shiraz 2007 $20

This has the power, structure and length to age like a charm. It’s full of saturated flavour, its dense notes of plum, cedarwood, coffee and blackberry supported by the most inky, glass-staining colour.

3.    Gramp’s Shiraz 2006 $19

The most beautiful blokey red in town. It’s loaded with flavour – coffee beans, blackberry, jubes and sweet raspberries – all of it flowing smoothly through to a more than satisfactory finish.

4.    Sightings Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $20

Here’s a good chance to use the famous ‘gobfuls of fruit’ line. It tastes of earth, chocolate, mint and lots and lots of blackcurrent.

5.    Hoddles Creek Pinot Noir 2008 $19

Mattinson lives out in the sticks and hears a bit of ‘Am I pretty enough?’ action on his local radio. No one will ask any such question of this wine.

6.    Shingleback Haycutters Shiraz Viognier 2008 $17.95

Oh yes! Damn, this is good – just about everyone will like this. It would be a great red to drink on a dinner date (unless you’re drinking sauvignon blanc) it’s so satiny and suave.

7.    Bleasdale Bremerview Shiraz 2006 $16.50

Thick and rich. Packed with smooth, choc-mint, plummy fruit power, but it also has the grip to back it up – it has style and substance.

8.    Longhop Shiraz 2008 $15

Massive wine. Pitch-black colour. Rich with syrupy flavours of coal, blackberry, tar and minerals and full-on from the first attack of flavour to the last of the long, warm finish.

9.    Torzi Matthews Schist Rock Shiraz 2008 $17

We’re not sure how they do this quality at this price, but take advantage of it while it lasts. This year’s release is incredibly perfumed and substantial, with notes of violets and blackberries, spice and smoke.

10.    Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy-Six Shiraz Cabernet 2007 $17.50

Classic Koonunga Hill character. Moderately intense, full of berried flavour, cedary and structured. Slightly warm finish, but it’s in fine shape.

For full tasting notes and the full top 100 red wines get yourself a copy of The Big Red Wine Book, published by Hardie Grant, June 2009, RRP A$24.95. Members and subscribers can purchase The Big Red Wine Book from our online book partner Seekbooks at 12.% discount off the recommended retail price »


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June 16th, 2009
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