With cooler weather coming on, and many people in lockdown rediscovering home-cooking, kitchens across the land are redolent with the scents of hearty stews. The best of them, such as boeuf bourguignon, include a slosh of red wine. This enhances their compatibility with wine. What goes into the pot doesn't have to be the same as the wine in the glass, but that's the ideal. Reds with bottle-age go best with the complex flavours of long-simmered stews and braises. Age mellows them and increases their complexity. Few reds are released with more than two or three years of age, but even five years can make a difference.
Redman Shiraz 2015, Coonawarra, $20
This shiraz has put on weight since the 1970s and '80s, when it was more like 12.5 per cent alcohol. It's undeniably generous, bold, full-bodied and great value at the price. Spicy, herbal, plummy aromas. Soft, powdery tannins and good persistence. Relatively big for a Coonawarra, it's drinking well now and worth cellaring. Screw-cap; 14.8 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to 10 years.
Stockists include Jim's Cellars, Waitara (NSW); Boccaccio Cellars, Balwyn (Vic); redman.com.au
Umamu Estate Ann's Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Margaret River, $48
Umamu make a point of releasing all their wines, even whites, with extra age. This has mellowed into a wine of uncanny Bordeaux-like character. Warm-earth, smoky overtones intermingle with raspberry and rhubarb notes. It's medium bodied, smoothly rounded and texturally appealing, with ample fleshy extract. (Screw-cap; 13.8 per cent alcohol)
Ageing? Best now to six years.
Tahbilk Eric Stevens Purbrick Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Nagambie Lakes, $72
Few Australian reds have a better track-record for ageing than Tahbilk's. This has a mellowing ruby to brick-red colour and a complex, detailed bouquet with notes of forest undergrowth, truffle and mushroom, as well as fruits, red rather than black. It's texturally refined, elegant and long, the tannins ripe and subtle. Screw-cap; 14 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to 20 years.