About The Pack
Here's a mix of some of the most gluggable alternate variety reds in Australia at the moment.
From something bright and crunchy in the delightful Pinot Meunier from Tony Fikkers to the lush, opulent red Touriga blend from Nick Spencer, there's a red here for every occasion.
Sick of Shiraz? Tired of Cabernet? Well here the perfect way to explore something new!
2016 La Prova Montepulciano
Many forward-thinking winemakers believe that Montepulciano has a big future in Australia. This version by La Prova winemaker, Sam Scott, makes a compelling case for that claim.
Grown in the sandy loam soils of Langhorne Creek, this is one of the best value versions of the variety available on the market today. Scott's love of Italian varieties oozes through every ounce of this wine. It's flamboyantly fragrant, supple and insanely moreish.
If you are only just now being seduced by the charms of Australian grown Italian varieties, the La Prova Montepulciano is going to seal the deal.Read more about 2016 La Prova Montepulciano
2017 Express Winemakers Tempranillo
This wine is and is an exciting development for Ryan O'Meara and his Express Winemakers label. This is the first Tempranillo off their own block in Great Southern, grown and picked by Ryan and his family and brought to bottle with as little intervention as possible.
It was fermented as whole clusters ramping up the spicy and exotic features of the variety, pushing the boundaries of savouriness while keeping it firmly in the gluggable red category.
All things considered, this is a stonkingly good buy. It's everything you could want in cool-climate sub-$30 Tempranillo. It's spicy and juicy, a plush version of a medium bodied red. A tasty Temp for all occasions.Read more about 2017 Express Winemakers Tempranillo
2017 Dune Pyla
A new age McLaren Vale red wine here from the notable Lloyd family of Coriole fame. The brothers Duncan and Peter forging a new project from their Blewitt Springs vineyard.
Nero d'Avola has become one of the great rising varieties of McLaren Vale, with Coriole doing plenty to raise its profile. And Nero takes centre stage here, surrounded by Shiraz, Carignan and Mourvedre.
The 2017 release is every bit as alluring as the ripping debut from 2016.
Not a foot wrong so far from this exciting rising McLaren Vale project.Read more about 2017 Dune Pyla
2017 Unico Zelo Truffle Hound Barbera Nebbiolo
Brendan and Laura Carter love their Nebbiolo, and they learned from their time spent in the variety's spiritual home of Barolo that many of the best early drinking examples also contain a large proportion of Barbera.
Barbera can be a hit and miss grape on its own, but with Nebbiolo, it adds a juiciness and natural acidity that can elevate this great grape to another level. Such is the case with the 2017 Truffle Hound, this year 60% of the wine being made from Barbera, the Nebbiolo portion lower but integral as always.
As you might expect it looks a little different to previous years, but what it lacks in classic Nebbiolo character it more than makes up for with sheer, joyous drinkability.
Brendan reckons this is his favourite version yet, and if you're after a moreish light-to-medium red with a bit of x-factor, then this is just a no-brainer.Read more about 2017 Unico Zelo Truffle Hound Barbera Nebbiolo
2018 Fikkers Pinot Meunier
Anthony Fikkers makes self-confessedly "smashable" wines. This Pinot Meunier, is just that.
It's not every day you see a table wine made from this grape. Traditionally used in the production of sparkling, it has a reputation of being something akin to Pinot Noir's ugly cousin. But in the right hands, it is an epic drink.
With the maturing of the Coldstream vineyard, and his confidence now growing with four vintages of this wine under his belt, this year he was happy enough to put it under his single vineyard label.
This vintage was made with 100% whole bunches and 100% awesomeness. It's not a stern and serious style, it is made to rip into and has to be one of the best value versions of this variety in the country.Read more about 2018 Fikkers Pinot Meunier
2017 Nick Spencer Gundagai Dry Red
One of Nick Spencer's most formative experiences in wine was the 2011 Len Evans Tutorial where he had the rare opportunity to sample some of the worlds most famous wines under exam conditions.
Amongst the flights of DRC and First Growth Bordeaux, Nick says the wines that moved him most were the great old Australian red wines of the 1960s and 1970s. These were blended wines, with a house style the primary focus rather than the emphasis on regional or varietal wines which is so prevalent in Australian wine today.
The Gundagai Red is Nick's attempt to bring that old blended philosophy into the modern day. It's a wine that shows ripe blue fruit characters, a vibrant nose of violets and spice and silky decadent tannins which should see it mature nicely over the medium-long term.Read more about 2017 Nick Spencer Gundagai Dry Red