It's been pretty hot right across Australia recently. Ideal red wine weather? Hardly, but there are occasions when only red will do. Drinking reds at a cooler temperature helps, and some grape varieties suit a light chill more than others. Gamay, the grape of France's Beaujolais region, and fruity, spicy, modern grenache both fit the bill well, but don't freeze these red wines to death – 15 or 20 minutes in the fridge should be enough to enhance freshness and quenching qualities without numbing aroma and flavour. Sip these cool reds … cool.
Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2016, $18-$21
Adelaide Plains grenache weaving pepper, spice, dark cherries and berries on the nose with honest earthiness. Soft, ripe flavour stops short of jammy, moderate tannins are in good balance. Easy-drinking red that treads lighter than many warm-climate grenaches. Screw cap; 14.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink over two years.
Stockists include Beaumaris Cellars, Beaumaris (Vic); Different Drop, Ultimo (NSW).
Rising Yarra Valley Gamay 2018, $32-$35
Gamay isn't common in the Yarra Valley, perhaps it should be. This gluggable lighter red displays a fruity, floral nose, strawberry and plum fruit, undergrowth notes and inviting succulence. A hint of stem dries the nicely sustained finish for a gently savoury underpinning. Screw cap; 13 per cent alcohol.
Stockists include Camperdown Cellars, Camperdown (NSW); ABV Craft Merchants, St Kilda (Vic).
Turkey Flat Vineyards Grenache 2017, $38-$40
Turkey Flat's old vineyard boasts some historic Barossa vines, but this young grenache heads in a modern direction. It opens up perfumed and softly spicy with raspberryish aromas leading through a medium-bodied, juicy mouthful, finishing agreeably soft and friendly. Easy drinking. Screw cap; 14 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink over three years.
Stockists include City Wine Shop, Melbourne (Vic); Summer Hill Wine Shop, Summer Hill (NSW).