Eight Cracking Aussie Wines to Stock Up on for All the Silly Season Festivities You Have Planned


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That time of year has rolled around again and we’re all looking forward to many catch-ups with mates and family over glasses (or bottles) of vino. Not to mention there’s the office Secret Santa gifts to be bought and the inevitable conversation with the siblings around who’s picking the wine to impress the folks. And what you’ll be drinking at Christmas lunch, no less.

Thanks to Vivino and its hardworking community of wine lovers who voted in the inaugural Aussie Vivino Community Awards, we’ve handpicked the best of the best from the winning wines, so you can stock up on these top drops for all the silly season shenanigans you have planned, from a reasonably priced riesling to crack open with the crew to a $141 biodynamic cabernet blend that’ll impress even the stubbornest of sippers.

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2019 GRANT BURGE BAROSSA INK SHIRAZ, BAROSSA VALLEY SA ($17)

With almost 1500 ratings, the Grant Burge Barossa Ink Shiraz was rated as the top vino in the Vivino Community Awards’ wines under $25 category. Aussie wine lovers must know what they’re talking about as this wine is quintessential Barossa — think Christmas cake spices with notes of plum and luscious blueberry.

This wine is perfect for those who are always stuck on how to impress dad at family dinner. A crowdsourced success.

Purchase Grant Burge Barossa Ink Shiraz via Vivino.

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2020 TIM ADAMS RIESLING, CLARE VALLEY SA ($21.99)

In the early 2000s, a group of forward-thinking winemakers in South Australia’s Clare Valley were frustrated with cork-related faults ruining the vibrancy of their rieslings, so they banded together, bucked conventional norms and bottled their wines under Stelvin closure (screw caps). Twenty years later, screw caps are the norm and the future of Australian rieslings has never looked so bright.

To experience the freshness and vibrancy of Clare Valley riesling, look no further than this archetypal example from Tim Adams. Bursting with flavours of freshly cut citrus and hints of white florals, this drop is the perfect accompaniment to a serve of Sydney rock oysters. Hot tip: you can even drizzle a bit of the wine on top of the oyster instead of lemon.

Purchase Tim Adams riesling via Vivino.

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2019 UNICO ZELO ESOTERICO, RIVERLAND SA ($24.99)

Unico Zelo’s Esoterico really lives up to its name, having developed a cult-like following over the years. At first you’d be excused for not knowing what to make of it on account of its slightly hazy colour and the kind of pronounced texture you only see in red wines, but then you’re hit with pretty and delicate florals from the zibibbo and gewurztraminer grapes.

If you’ve never understood what all the fuss is about with skin-contact wine this is a fantastic entry point, and a perfect one to crack open with a charcuterie board on a sunny afternoon with mates.

Purchase Unico Zelo Esoterico via Vivino.

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2018 LANGMEIL VALLEY FLOOR SHIRAZ, BAROSSA VALLEY SA ($30)

Langmeil boasts a 125-year winemaking history with their dry-grown vineyards believed to be the world’s oldest surviving shiraz vines. While the wine from that particular vineyard from this prestigious winery will set you back $145, they have released a wine that is a little more approachable for everyday drinking.

The Valley Floor shiraz is crafted from fruit grown by over 20 families from across the Barossa’s 30 original villages, still being made in the historic Langmeil winery. A piece of South Australian wine history at a fraction of the price, the perfect gift for the old school wine lover in your life.

Purchase Langmeil Valley Floor shiraz via Vivino.

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2018 SAILOR SEEKS HORSE PINOT NOIR, HUON VALLEY TAS ($67.10)

From small vineyard plantings in Tasmania’s Huon Valley comes a pinot noir by husband-and-wife winemaking duo Paul and Gilli Lipscombe. Fruit for this exceptionally well-crafted wine comes from the estate vineyard, planted by the duo’s own hands in 2005.

It’s not hard to see why this wine clocked in at 14th place in Aussie wines priced between $25–80. It has blackberry and raspberry notes intermixed with a tension that causes you to reach for the bottle before you’ve even finished the glass in front of you. This small-batch premium pinot noir has become one of the most sought-after wines on the mainland, fought over by sommeliers and wine lovers alike.

Purchase Sailor Seeks Horse pinot noir via Vivino. 

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2018 CURLY FLAT PINOT NOIR, MACEDON RANGES VIC ($72.60)

There’s pinot noir, and then there’s Macedon Ranges pinot noir, and no one sets the gold standard of this wine varietal from this region better than Curly Flat.

This light red is a medley of aromas and flavours, from violets and black cherries on the nose (with just the tiniest hint of dried rose petals) to balsamic strawberries and slight savoury notes of forest floor and slate. Meet duck pancakes’ newest accompaniment.

Purchase Curly Flat pinot noir via Vivino. 

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2019 TOLPUDDLE CHARDONNAY, COAL RIVER VALLEY TAS ($95.33)

This wine is touted as the benchmark for cool-climate Aussie chardonnay. Using grapes from vineyards planted in Tasmania in 1988, this exceptional chardy is made by celebrated South Australian winemaker Adam Wadewitz (of Shaw and Smith fame). This drop is rarely available for long after its release. But you don’t have to take our word for it — it’s currently rates 4.4 out of five on Vivino, and it came in second in the Vivino Community Awards’ top ten Aussie whites category.

If you find some, buy it ASAP and impress the family with it on Christmas Day — and convert the anything-but-chardonnay drinkers in your household.

Purchase Tolpuddle chardonnay via Vivino. 

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2018 CULLEN ‘DIANA MADELEINE’ CABERNET BLEND, MARGARET RIVER WA ($141)

Vanya Cullen, the current winemaker of Cullen Wines in Western Australia (and often dubbed as Australia’s High Priestess of Biodynamics) has named her flagship cabernet blend after her mother, Diana.

What makes this wine so unique — and absolutely worth the price? The fruit comes off vines dating back to 1971, and the care and great attention it takes to produce this wine are unparalleled. The fruit was picked according to the biodynamic calendar dates, with one of the harvests occurring on a full moon. Due to this vino’s structured nature, it’ll cellar for up to 50 years (if you have that kind of patience).

Purchase Cullen ‘Diana Madeleine’ cabernet blend via Vivino. 

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Download the Vivino app and start discovering more ideal summer sips to stock up on — then buy them straight from the app. For more wine inspo, check out this year’s Vivino Community Awards. 


Published on December 10, 2021 by Samantha Payne

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