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Best South Australian Red Wine Blends

Whilst traditionally the average Australian wine consumer is very much a single variety type of drinker, over recent years the popularity of blends has been increasing. Here we look at four ‘classic’ South Australian Red Blends that are perfect for the cellar. These wines continue to improve both in winemaking and fruit quality as well as longer term in the cellar.

The two classic South Australian Red blends that we’ve made our own is the unique Cabinet Shiraz blend, and the Cote du Rhone styled GSM’s. Both suit the warmth of the Southern Australian wine regions and when matched with their abundance of old, dry grown vine material the wines show some serious class and ageability. These blends offer a perfect way of producing wine styles that are greater than the sum of their parts.

Yalumba FDR1A Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2010 $35

Yalumba are serious exponents of the classic Cabinet/Shiraz blend making a number of wines with these two varieties. Having won the Great Australian Red competition a number of times its worth keeping up to date with their latest and greatest for the cellar. This 2010 comes from a classic vintage and is 100% Eden Valley sourced, its split 73% Cabinet, 27% Shiraz. This cooler region gives the wine a freshness and purity. The racy acidity backs up the structured French oak (30% New) giving cellarability in spades.  Big and richly perfumed with violets and anise, a good heap of cedar and classy oak, its layered and intense with finer tannins than expected. Long and juicy. Cellar up to 10 years.

Chaffey Bros. Superbarossa 2014 $35

Winemaking brothers-in-law, Daniel Chaffey Hartwig and Theo Engela have grown the Chaffey brand smartly over the past couple of years. Producing great single variety wines and some classic blends from the Eden Valley and Barossa it’s worth keeping these guys on your radar.

The Superbarossa is 66% Shiraz, largely from the Ebenezer sub region and 34% Cabinet Sauvignon, mainly Eden Valley. There’s loads of rich plumy fruit, strawberry freshness and a whack of blackberry and cassis, nice touch of oak leads to lengthy finish. Still medium bodied, just it’ll go to 10 years and be great around 2020.

Hither & Yon Grenache Mataro Shiraz 2012 (McLaren Vale, SA) 14.7% $25

Getting into a Grenache dominant blend shouldn’t be surprising from the Vale, and this is a cracker. 67% Grenache, own rootstock , 29% Mataro, 4% planted in 1970, own rootstock again. This is all about the fruit, with older oak used the fruit really sings. No fining or filtration and minimal additions.

Loads of juicy red and darker fruit, think raspberrys and cherry meets clove and dusty earth. Nice bit of spice and lift from the Mataro. Too easy to drink, will cellar medium term for 5 years. Drink whilst the bigger wines mature.

D’Arenburg The Ironstone Pressings 2012 $65

Every cellar needs a few D’Arenburg’s tucked away within it. Here is a classic South Australian blend from the Vale, A straight talking GSM (70% Grenache, 25% Shiraz and 5% Mourvedre).  2012 was a warm vintage in the final few months and this shows with a huge expanse of rich brambly and blueberry fruit. Firm tannins structure the mouthfeel with all that ripe fruit sitting on top, some nice oak creaminess and earthiness from the Mourvedre. It’s warm (as Grenache should be) and generous with a classy line of acidity keeping it just fresh enough, should go 10 years+.

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