best buys

wines to cellar

2014 Penfolds Bin 138 Shiraz Grenache Mataro, Barossa Valley, A$40

This wine is my favourite of the 2014 vintage Bin series reds (Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, Bin 407 Cabernet, etc) released a couple of months ago. Right now it’s bursting with beautiful perfumed spice – think jasmine and clove – and its round red fruit is held wonderfully in check by some savoury graphite and leather tannin. It’ll age well, too. I opened a 1998 Bin 138 the other day and it was drinking beautifully, all mellow black fruit and sweet black earth.  MA

2013 Glaetzer-Dixon Rêveur Pinot Noir, Tasmania, A$56

Tasmanian pinot noir built around concentration of flavour, judicious oak maturation and tight tannins. More in the medium- to full- bodied spectrum, it’s a wine rich in flavour with sinewy oak spice, dark brooding cherry juice, earth and graphite-like minerality. The perfume is a fine mesh of sweet fruit, spicy, splintery oak and ferrous character. It’s a wine that shows the power potential of pinot so well. It’s going to look superb in five to 10 years.  MB

2014 Henschke Tappa Pass Shiraz, Barossa and Eden Valleys, A$100

Since its release, Tappa Pass has eased into a sweet spot in the Henschke shiraz portfolio. Shiraz sourced from three mature 50 year-old vineyards in the elevated, somewhat cooler Eden Valley is given the full Henschke treatment in open fermenters and aged in French oak for 18 months with 61 per cent new barrels. Wild blackberries, liquorice and bay leaf aromas flow seamlessly to the rich mouth-filling palate. Fine tannins shape the wine and carry the finish to a confident conclusion.  PB

2013 Bell Hill Pinot Noir, North Canterbury, NZ$120

This tiny North Canterbury producer has a small vineyard planted on a hill that was once a limestone quarry. This is aromatic and powerful pinot noir has cherry, violet, fresh herb and chalky/mineral flavours. It’s an elegant, supple wine with an incredibly lengthy finish. Although it can be readily appreciated now the wine promises to age very well indeed. Very collectible.  BC

2013 Vietti Barbera d’Alba DOC Vigna Scarrone, Piedmont, Italy, A$96

The Currado-Vietti families recently shocked the wine world by selling out to American investors. Things are expected to remain the same with Luca Currado heading the winemaking. Barbera simply doesn’t come much better than this. The colour is deep, rich and strong, just like the wine. Ripe, concentrated fruit in the dark cherry, blackberry, plum jam spectrum, with a profound core of sweet fruit and ample tannins. An outstanding wine. Drink now and for 15-plus years.  HH

2014 Briar Ridge Stockhausen Shiraz, Hunter Valley, A$35

A sumptuous, longer term Hunter classic in the modern sense – meaning it’s a medium- to full-bodied, deeply flavoured but still rather closed shiraz that will cellar for decades. Dark and spicy, its faintly animal aromas of black and red berries, minerals and cedary oak are lifted by scents of cracked black pepper and meaty aspects. Underpinned by firmish but fine, crunchy tannins, it’s long and pliant, with a delightful core of deep briary fruit backed by smoky, gamey notes. Just give it time.  JO