26 September 2023

Christmas Wish List

Start the conversation

By Christine Salins.


‘Tis the season to celebrate and we’ve got a sleigh-load of interesting and enticing wines for you to pop into someone’s Christmas stocking.

We’ve sought out a range of whites and reds in a variety of styles, including a delicious dessert wine. There’s something for all budgets, from as low as $12.99 right up to $150 for someone you want to impress.

Next week, we’ll look at bubbles for the festive season.

Winemakers Limited Release 922 Coonawarra Shiraz, $12.99: If you’re looking for a quality red at a great price, it’d be hard to beat this 2019 Coonawarra Shiraz from Dan Murphy’s (even cheaper for Dan Murphy’s members, at a bargain $9). Fresh and vibrant with plum and raspberry notes, a hint of spice, gentle tannins, and a long smooth finish.

Zema Estate 2018 Estate Shiraz, $26.99: Taking it up a notch, this seriously delicious Coonawarra shiraz is generous, rich and opulent. With refreshed branding that has given it a more stylish look, it’s already had a few years ageing in the bottle but could easily be cellared for a few years yet. Savoury olive notes are balanced out with sweet cherry and blackberry notes, along with hints of chocolate and mint.

Running with Bulls 2022 Albariño, $31: Viva España. Well, not quite. It’s firmly rooted in the Barossa Valley but will certainly whisk you away to a table in Spain bathed in sunshine. Refreshing, uncomplicated and highly aromatic, it is light- to medium-bodied with green apple, melon and lemon/grapefruit notes. Served chilled, it’s a great counter-balance to oily seafood dishes and Spanish tapas.

Primo Estate 2022 Pecorino, $30: Another fresh, summery white, this one from the Adelaide Hills and a variety so rarely seen that it’ll make an interesting gift for someone who likes trying something a bit different. (FYI, pecorino is an ancient Italian variety and not just a cheese.) With delicate aromas of almond and lemon blossoms, it is bursting with juicy flavours of lemon, lime, pear and a hint of spice. Great with oysters and seafood.

Angullong 2021 ‘Fossil Hill’ Montepulciano, $30: Sticking with the theme of Mediterranean varieties, this is only the second release of Montepulciano for this Orange (NSW) producer. Medium-bodied with soft but lasting tannins, it’s a little herbaceous with plum and blackberry notes, and subtle oak. Enjoy with pizza or chargrilled foods.

Bimbadgen 2021 McDonalds Road Chardonnay, $45: For those who love a fine Chardonnay (count me in) this is a lovely, lovely wine. Beautifully balanced oak and fresh stonefruit aromas with gorgeous flavours of pear, melon and citrus. Delicate and elegant, a great example of how premium Hunter Chardonnay with the right care and attention can really shine.

JOSEPH ‘The Front’ Fortified NV, $50: Hark the herald angels sing with this luscious dessert wine that has all the flavours of Christmas in a glass: raisins, toffee, chestnuts, Christmas pud, in a deeply honey-golden coloured drop that is rich, smooth and complex. Very special.

Pewsey Vale Vineyard 2012 The Contours 10 Year Museum Release, $50: Pewsy Vale, in South Australia’s Eden Valley, is 175 years old this year – a remarkable heritage worth celebrating. Founded in 1847, it produces outstanding Riesling in a cool-climate style: dry and austere with high acidity and minerality. Riesling is the vineyard’s single focus and this one comes from a particularly special site on the coolest slope, before being aged for 10 years in the bottle. With hints of honey and citrus, it has floral aromatics and is poised and elegant. A very fine drop.

Yalumba Steeple Vineyard 2018 Shiraz, $80: Connoisseurs will appreciate this rich, brooding wine from a biodynamic, low-yielding Barossa vineyard planted in 1919. (The Light Pass Lutheran church steeple stands sentinel over the vines, if you’re wondering about the name.) Full-bodied and textural with a long finish, it has dark cherry, pomegranate and cranberry notes, with a hint of Christmas spice.

Sevenhill 2021 ‘Open Range’ Grenache, $80: This Clare Valley winery has a proud and fascinating history but it’s not resting on tradition. It’s evolving with some pretty slick and elegant wines, not least being this beautiful Grenache made from 100-year-old vines. Silky and smooth with attractive red berry aromas and a hint of spice, it is gentle and light yet with a pleasing complexity and subtle toasty oak.

Yalumba 2017 The Octavius Shiraz, $150: Saving this till last because it’s for true connoisseurs. Made from vines dating back to 1854 and matured in oak octaves coopered on site, it is quintessential Barossa – big and complex, bright and full-bodied, yet elegant and refined with lifted floral notes and a deliciously long finish. Blueberries, blackberries and plums with hints of chocolate, vanilla and licorice. A joy to behold.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.