There are red wines to drink now, fresh and carefree in their youth. There are also "serious" red wines, often worthy of long ageing. The latter category contains many Australian flagships, wines that speak eloquently of a region, a winemaker or a grape. Flagships can be very pricey, and the best of them are superb, but they are not for every occasion or every pocket. With spring weather and carefree, casual evenings, easy-drinking youngsters can offer just as much enjoyment. Thankfully, Australian winemakers offer outstanding products at both ends of the price spectrum.
De Bortoli The Estate Vineyard Gamay 2018, $26-$28
The Beaujolais grape grown in the Yarra Valley. Berry jujube, gentle florals and a sappy, savoury edge lead into succulent, fruity flavours with a lightish medium body, lip-smacking balance and a soft finish. Delicious. Screw cap; 13.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now.
Stockists include Limited release from De Bortoli Cellar Door debortoli.com.au or on 03 5965 2271
Mount Langi Ghiran Langi 2017, $180-$200
Exquisite flagship Grampians shiraz. Multi-faceted scents of bakery and savoury spice, raspberry and black plum, musky, gamey complexity and subtle oak. Seamless, intense and silky, with fine tannins and a fragrant finish. Screw cap; 13.8 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink after 20 years.
Stockists include Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne (Vic); online at langi.com.au
Howard Park Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, $135-$150
Ageworthy cabernet of superb varietal purity from southern Western Australia. Violet, black fruits, briar, bitter chocolate and cedary oak aromas lead into an austere, intense palate with layered tannins and a lingering, savoury finish. Screw cap; 14 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Yes, two to 20 years plus.
Stockists include Selected Dan Murphy stores.