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By Matt Skinner
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The Big Chill

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We’re almost there! The sun is desperately trying to break its way through, mornings are definitely getting lighter, the air smells fresher, and that long wait is once again nearly over. Nearly… And while the start of spring is officially now just a few weeks away, it’s worth bearing in mind that August has a habit of dishing up some of winter’s nastiest weather.

To get you through the final stretch, we’ve assembled a dozen of our favourite cold-weather wines: a few full-bodied whites, reds of all shapes and sizes, and even a couple of fortifieds built for fireside sipping – wines with weight, wines with layers, wines that have the capacity to restore your warmth from the inside out. Sounds good, right? Well stoke up the fire, grab yourself a glass, settle back into your favourite armchair and welcome The Big Chill – a selection so good you may never want winter to end!

Happy drinking,
 

The Drinks List Team

Large Pack (12 Bottles) - The Big Chill
$275 inc GST
Add to cart lrg
  • 1. ESCARPMENT Pinot Gris 2014
    MARTINBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND

    Larry McKenna handcrafts some of the southern hemisphere’s finest wines off his 24-ha property, located on the picturesque southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. The Pinot Gris, with barrel fermentation, partial malo & lees stirring, boasts serious weight & dimension. Expect ripe stone fruit knit with struck match, flint & mineral on the nose, while the palate is voluptuous & long. Drink it with chargrilled pork chops & salsa verde.

  • 2. SI White 2015
    MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

    Sarah Morris and Iwo Jakimowicz are the husband & wife duo behind Si Vintners. Drawing on biodynamic fruit from their 30-acre property, & with a lo-fi approach to winemaking, the ‘White’, assembled from Semillon & Chardonnay, is fermented wild in concrete eggs before being bottled minus any kind of fining or additions. Expect smells of guava & gun barrel, while the palate is broad, mineral-textured & nicely balanced by a lick of tannin. Drink it with grilled sardines.

  • 3. DOMAINE YVES CUILLERON Viognier 2016
    NORTHERN RHÔNE, FRANCE

    Based in the village of Chavany, Yves Cuilleron is one of Condrieu’s brightest sparks. While his reds are great, his work with local white variety Viognier is sublime. With time in old, large oak & plenty of lees work, expect smells of apricot, orange rind & fresh cut flowers, while the palate is typically soft, round & rich with good length of flavour that's balanced beautifully by low-level natural acidity. Drink it with chicken & olive tagine.

  • 4. AIRLIE BANK Pinot Noir 2016
    YARRA VALLEY, VICTORIA

    Tim Shand continues to up the ante with Airlie Bank – a range that feels far more like a place to road test ideas for the pricier Punt Road offerings than a mere second label. Sourced entirely from the Yarra Valley, there is much to get excited about here, including smells of bright cherry fruit, spice & earth, while in the mouth it's mid-weight, silky & finely structured. Drink it with barbecued salmon

  • 5. TOOLANGI ‘Block E’ Pinot Noir 2013
    YARRA VALLEY, VICTORIA

    Made at Giaconda by the legendary Rick Kinzbrunner, ‘Block E’ represents a premium section of Toolangi’s Dixon Creek vineyard. Expect to find a nose of wild raspberry, sour cherry & dried woody herbs, while in your mouth it’s clean, mineral-textured & beautifully balanced. Oak is of the premium French kind, & with three years under its belt, it’s a beautiful drink now. Drink it with coq au vin.

  • 6. MADA WINES Syrah Nouveau 2017
    CANBERRA DISTRICT

    After nine years as Assistant Winemaker at nearby Eden Road, Hamish Young launched his own label, Mada Wines, in 2015. While all of Young’s wines are worthy of your attention, the Syrah Nouveau is a jaw dropper & bound to sell out fast. Fermented cool as whole berries (with 10% Grenache & a splash of Gewürztraminer), expect a bright & explosive nose of sweet raspberry & cherry-like fruit, while in your mouth it’s mid-weight & perfectly framed by fine chalky tannins. Drink it with chicken liver parfait & a good crusty baguette.

  • 7. SHADY LANE Shiraz 2016
    GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA

    A serious contender for bargain of the year, this is dark & multi-dimensional Shiraz taken from the cool of Victoria’s Grampians. Expect smells of bitter black cherry, blood plum & cocoa, while plush, mouth-filling fruit is well supported by gentle acidity & a wash of fine grippy tannins. Drink it with Moroccan spiced lamb cutlets straight from the barbecue.

  • 8. LEGADO DEL MONCAYO Garnacha 2015
    UCLES, SPAIN

    Drawn from 40-year-old Garnacha planted on the slopes of an old volcano, & minus the influence of oak, expect to find a lifted & spicy nose of red summer berries, dried woody herbs & dry ground spices. On the palate, expect plenty of dark & juicy fruit coupled with delicate mineral texture, bright acidity & a balanced drying finish. Drink it with asado beef ribs straight off the grill.

  • 9. RANGE LIFE Rosso 2016
    MURRAY DARLING, VICTORIA

    The latest offering from Range Life comes in the form of a mid-weight, easy-drinking blend unashamedly designed for Friday night pizza in front of the telly. Expect to find a dark & savoury nose of sour cherry, black olive & rolling tobacco, while the palate is mouth filling, nicely textured, dark & delicious. A wave of light chewy tannins brings thing to a close. Drink it with pizza capricciosa.

  • 10. IZWAY Aglianico 2016
    BAROSSA VALLEY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

    Destined to be one of the most seductive wines you’ll put your nose into this year, here Aglianico swaps the warmth of Italy’s south for the warmth of Australia’s Barossa Valley. Expect smells of black cherry, musk, orange rind & cardamom, while the palate is dense & tightly structured with a wave of firm grippy tannins to finish. Drink it with osso bucco.

  • 11. LUSTAU Vermut NV 
    JEREZ, SPAIN 

    For diehard Sherry fans like us, the prospect of a vermouth – assembled from Amontillado & Pedro Ximenez Sherry & steeped with wormwood, coriander & citrus peel – is a bit like Christmas coming early. From Sherry superstar Lustau, expect a highly aromatic wine, where smells of dried fruit, citrus peel & roasting nuts lead to a light, gently sweet & beautifully structured vermouth. Drink it straight over ice, & preferably by a roaring open fire!

  • 12. VALDESPINO Pedro Ximenez NV
    JEREZ, SPAIN

    The best examples of PX display a spellbinding range of smells that include treacle, dried fig, raisin, spice & spirit, while in your mouth they’re syrupy, rich & long. Renowned for producing one of the best-value examples on the market, Valdespino’s is even better still served alongside sticky date pudding or drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Fortification means it will keep fresh for at least six weeks after opening.

Show all profiles
12 Cracking bottles for $275 inc GST
Medium Pack (6 Bottles) - The Big Chill
$150 inc GST
Add to cart med
  • 1. SI White 2015
    MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

    Sarah Morris and Iwo Jakimowicz are the husband & wife duo behind Si Vintners. Drawing on biodynamic fruit from their 30-acre property, & with a lo-fi approach to winemaking, the ‘White’, assembled from Semillon & Chardonnay, is fermented wild in concrete eggs before being bottled minus any kind of fining or additions. Expect smells of guava & gun barrel, while the palate is broad, mineral-textured & nicely balanced by a lick of tannin. Drink it with grilled sardines.

  • 2. TOOLANGI ‘Block E’ Pinot Noir 2013
    YARRA VALLEY, VICTORIA

    Made at Giaconda by the legendary Rick Kinzbrunner, ‘Block E’ represents a premium section of Toolangi’s Dixon Creek vineyard. Expect to find a nose of wild raspberry, sour cherry & dried woody herbs, while in your mouth it’s clean, mineral-textured & beautifully balanced. Oak is of the premium French kind, & with three years under its belt, it’s a beautiful drink now. Drink it with coq au vin.

  • 3. MADA WINES Syrah Nouveau 2017
    CANBERRA DISTRICT

    After nine years as Assistant Winemaker at nearby Eden Road, Hamish Young launched his own label, Mada Wines, in 2015. While all of Young’s wines are worthy of your attention, the Syrah Nouveau is a jaw dropper & bound to sell out fast. Fermented cool as whole berries (with 10% Grenache & a splash of Gewürztraminer), expect a bright & explosive nose of sweet raspberry & cherry-like fruit, while in your mouth it’s mid-weight & perfectly framed by fine chalky tannins. Drink it with chicken liver parfait & a good crusty baguette.

  • 4. RANGE LIFE Rosso 2016
    MURRAY DARLING, VICTORIA

    The latest offering from Range Life comes in the form of a mid-weight, easy-drinking blend unashamedly designed for Friday night pizza in front of the telly. Expect to find a dark & savoury nose of sour cherry, black olive & rolling tobacco, while the palate is mouth filling, nicely textured, dark & delicious. A wave of light chewy tannins brings thing to a close. Drink it with pizza capricciosa.

  • 5. IZWAY Aglianico 2016
    BAROSSA VALLEY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

    Destined to be one of the most seductive wines you’ll put your nose into this year, here Aglianico swaps the warmth of Italy’s south for the warmth of Australia’s Barossa Valley. Expect smells of black cherry, musk, orange rind & cardamom, while the palate is dense & tightly structured with a wave of firm grippy tannins to finish. Drink it with osso bucco.

  • 6. VALDESPINO Pedro Ximenez NV
    JEREZ, SPAIN

    The best examples of PX display a spellbinding range of smells that include treacle, dried fig, raisin, spice & spirit, while in your mouth they’re syrupy, rich & long. Renowned for producing one of the best-value examples on the market, Valdespino’s is even better still served alongside sticky date pudding or drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Fortification means it will keep fresh for at least six weeks after opening.

Show all profiles
6 Cracking bottles for $150 inc GST
Small Pack (3 Bottles) - The Big Chill
$80 inc GST
Add to cart sml
  • 1. TOOLANGI ‘Block E’ Pinot Noir 2013
    YARRA VALLEY, VICTORIA

    Made at Giaconda by the legendary Rick Kinzbrunner, ‘Block E’ represents a premium section of Toolangi’s Dixon Creek vineyard. Expect to find a nose of wild raspberry, sour cherry & dried woody herbs, while in your mouth it’s clean, mineral-textured & beautifully balanced. Oak is of the premium French kind, & with three years under its belt, it’s a beautiful drink now. Drink it with coq au vin.

  • 2. MADA WINES Syrah Nouveau 2017
    CANBERRA DISTRICT

    After nine years as Assistant Winemaker at nearby Eden Road, Hamish Young launched his own label, Mada Wines, in 2015. While all of Young’s wines are worthy of your attention, the Syrah Nouveau is a jaw dropper & bound to sell out fast. Fermented cool as whole berries (with 10% Grenache & a splash of Gewürztraminer), expect a bright & explosive nose of sweet raspberry & cherry-like fruit, while in your mouth it’s mid-weight & perfectly framed by fine chalky tannins. Drink it with chicken liver parfait & a good crusty baguette.

  • 3. RANGE LIFE Rosso 2016
    MURRAY DARLING, VICTORIA

    The latest offering from Range Life comes in the form of a mid-weight, easy-drinking blend unashamedly designed for Friday night pizza in front of the telly. Expect to find a dark & savoury nose of sour cherry, black olive & rolling tobacco, while the palate is mouth filling, nicely textured, dark & delicious. A wave of light chewy tannins brings thing to a close. Drink it with pizza capricciosa.

Show all profiles
3 Cracking bottles for $80 inc GST