Ray Jordan’s Top 100 Reds 2017

The Best Wine

Houghton Red Classic 2014 ($13)

Gold medal winning wine that absolutely nails everything you want in a wine at this price point. 91/100

Runner Up

Yalumba The Y Series cabernet sauvignon 2015 ($15)

Mighty good cabernet that’s balanced and poised and perfect for winter glugging. 91/100

The Wines Under $15

Houghton Shiraz 2015 ($13)

Nice medium-bodied shiraz. Plummy with some light cedar and deeper blackberry nuances. Fine supple tannins and a light touch of oak to complete. 91/100

Growers Gate shiraz 2015 ($12.95)

Most appealing little shiraz. Plummy fruit with a dusty cedary influences. Spicy and lifted with a long finish. Great for the price. 91/100

Yalumba The Y Series shiraz viognier 2014 ($15)

You get a decent hit for your dollars with this neat blend of plummy shiraz and lifted apricotty gingery viognier, a white variety. The dab of viognier is just right and doesn’t overload things. 90/100

Tail Spin Langhorne Creek shiraz 2015 ($14)

Shows all the classic Langhorne Creek glugibility. Sweet blueberry and vanillin influences with a soft tannin palate extending to a pleasingly long finish. 90/100

Johnny Q shiraz 2014 ($15)

Loads of fruit and a decent lick of oak make this an eminently appealing early drinking shiraz. Soft middle palate with plummy leafy characters. Dollop of dark chocolate finishes the palate. 89/100

Hesketh Midday Somewhere shiraz 2016 ($14.95)

This was the big winner last year and his all the right notes this year. Soft and smoot with a generous middle palate of sweet supple fruit. Lifted finish and great current drinking. 89/100

Lindemans Bin 50 shiraz 2016 ($10)

Light up the Barbie and get stuck into this fruity and appealing little shiraz. Sweet confectionary fruit with ample fleshiness. Ideal as a current drinking quaffer and great value. 87/100

Jacobs Creek Classic shiraz 2016 ($13.75)

Count the stars in the evening sky and you’re still well short of the number of bottles of this made. Typical juicy fleshy medium to light bodied fruit. Touch of sweet fruit character and deal for winter quaffing. 87/100

Cabernet Sauvignon

Yalumba The Y Series cabernet sauvignon 2015 ($15)

Cabernet can be a bit hit and miss in this price bracket, yet here we have something that works. Medium bodied lifted red berry fruit on the nose with a lovely balanced palate. A stylish impressive wine for the price. 91/100

Windy Peak cabernet sauvignon 2013 ($14)

Light and leafy cabernet from the Yarra Valley Has some nice blackberry nuances with a touch of leafy cabernet character that is pure varietal. Good one if you like your cabernet with a touch of restraint and body. 90/100


Houghton Red Classic 2014 ($13)

This blend of cab shiraz and merlot always delivers the goods. Remarkable wine for the price. And it is a gold medal winner and it’s not hard to see why. Some mighty good fruit in here. 91/100

Trellis cabernet merlot 2015 ($15)

This was the big winner a couple of years ago when it made its debut. This one is right on the money for offering great value. Ripe and fruity with a little lick of oak. Balanced and showing some good fruit qualities. Loads of black currant goodies. 90/100

Bakenal Red Wine by Evoi ($15)

This comes from Nigel Ludlow who makes some of the State’s best serious wines. This is a fine blend that is made as a no brainer drink now wine. But as usual with Ludlow it has the balance and poise you expect in his best wines. 90/100

Deep Woods Ebony cabernet shiraz 2015 ($15)

Consistent value for money red made from the classic Aussie mix of cabernet and shiraz. It’s medium bodied with good fruit intensity and structure. Dusty lightly applied oak and fine sinewy tannins add support. Can’t go wrong with this little number. 90/100

Goundrey Homestead cabernet merlot 2014 $(15)

Soft and generously proportioned medium bodied easy drinking quaffer. It’s amazing the quality of the fruit that goes into some of these little cheapies. But, hey, who’s complaining. Well crafted. 89/100

Alkoomi White Label cabernet merlot 2014 ($15)

Fruity and deliciously put together cab merlot blend. Sweet fruit with lifted sweet red berry and leafy fruit cake characters. Soft and supple and best in the next 12 months. 88/100

Evans & Tate Time and Place Dry Red 2015 ($12)

Medium bodied red blend with spicy fruit flavours providing lots of goodies. Well balanced with good intensity. Get a few of these ready for a barbecue with friends. 87/100

Taylors Promised Land cabernet merlot 2015 ($15)

Sappy juicy red berry fruit here with a little dab of oak and the subtle sweet smells of red berry and leafy tobacco. Nice quaffer.87/100

Other varieties

Down the Lane shiraz tempranillo 2015 ($12)

Touch of the Spanish here in variety and direction. Oh, those little bars down the lane in Spain. Shiraz and tempranillo makes a super combination. It’s medium-bodied with a smooth seamless palate showing silky fine tannins and nice savoury, slightly raspberry cherry fruit flavours. Excellent with a range of Mediterranean dishes. 90/100