The popularity of California Cabernet Sauvignon has made it almost impossible to find a decent California Cab Sauvignon under $20.00. Its popularity has surged with the recognition of Napa Valley. And, while I do enjoy a complex Cab Sauvignon from Napa, the price tags have left me seeking an alternative- and Australia continues to produce some excellent options under $20.00.
Australia is probably most well known for Shiraz, its ripe and jammy black fruit, combined with the complexity of leather, tar and spice, make it an amazing wine to pair with BBQ ribs and delicious burgers. My current favourites under $20.00 include:
Sister’s Run Epiphany Shiraz, 2014
Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz, 2014
For Cabernet Sauvignons, I always find myself in South Australian. South Australian Cab Sauvs are usually rich in ripe black fruit, silky integrated tannins and a hint of spice showcasing the use of French Oak for maturation. To me, it works excellently with rack of lamb. Some of my favourites include:
Wakefield Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014
Jacob's Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra, 2011
The last great find in Australia that is always delicious is the blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre grape varieties, commonly referred to as GSMs. Originally the style came from Southern Rhone, France- the most notable region being Chateauneuf du Pape. The unique combination of these grape varieties often creates a full-bodied red wine with complexity. The Grenache grape provides some red fruit flavour, the Shiraz grape providing some structure through tannin and higher alcohol, and the Mourvedre elicits some elegance and leather character in the wine. These are great finds if you can get them, my two favourites are:
Yalumba The Strapper GSM, 2014
Kilikanoon Killerman's Run GSM, 2014
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