Australia produces some of the biggest, most lush reds in the world. As these bottles prove, they’re terrific values as well.
2006 Torbreck Barossa Valley Woodcutter’s Shiraz ($20)
Dave Powell of Torbreck is known largely for fabulous (and fabulously expensive) wines like his Run Rig Shiraz. The blackberry-rich Woodcutter’s is his most affordable red.
2006 Luchador Shiraz ($15)
Made from Barossa fruit rounded out with a percentage from the McLaren Vale, this powerful, muscular Shiraz (thus the name—a luchador is a Mexican wrestler) adds some tannic backbone to its blueberry fruit by including five percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
2006 Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz ($15)
Peter Lehmann once stated that “when God created Shiraz, he did so with the Barossa in mind.” Certainly this French variety has done very well there since it was first planted back in the 1840s, as bottlings like this chocolaty wine amply prove.
2006 Earthworks Barossa Valley Shiraz ($16)
Earthworks is a less-expensive label from Barossa’s well-known Langmeil Estate; its Shiraz is a blend from various growers in the Barossa region. Several months’ aging in French oak barrels adds spicy vanilla notes to its plummy flavors.
2006 Yalumba Barossa Patchwork Shiraz ($17)
Yalumba produces terrific Barossa wines at all prices, from its powerful, deeply flavored The Octavius to this wine, its most affordable Barossa bottling. Its light wood-spice aromas lead into blackberry liqueur flavors.
2006 Grant Burge Barossa Vines Shiraz ($18)
One of Barossa’s top producers, Grant Burge first released this straightforward red bottling a few years back. It’s aged for 14 months in a combination of French and American oak, giving it some intriguing spice notes.
2006 Piping Shrike Barossa Valley Shiraz ($19)
This value-oriented red is named after the Australian magpie, a territorial bird that drives off blackbirds— a species that loves to feast on ripe grapes. Light minty notes in the aroma lead into a mix of ripe red and black fruit flavors.
2006 Cimicky Trumps Shiraz ($20)
The dense, black fruit flavors of this wine are lifted by herbal notes, keeping it from becoming too rich and heavy. Charles Cimicky, the son of a Czech immigrant to Australia, uses no chemical fertilizers and dry-farms his vines (which means he uses almost no irrigation) to concentrate the flavors of his grapes.