Swanny’s top reds from 2014

The Swanny team chose a selection of grape varieties from the wines tasted in 2014; Cabernet Malbecs, Shiraz, a Cabernet, a Cabernet Merlot, as well as a Pinot Noir from Australia and a straight Malbec from Argentina. Originally famous in France, these grape varieties have been planted in many of the wine regions around the world.

Although Cabernet did well at home in Bordeaux where it continues to make some of the most famous top growths from the Left Bank from the Médoc, Pauillac, Margaux, it makes some wonderful wines in Australia.

Howard Park Leston Cabernet from the Leston Vineyard in Margaret River from 2012 at $45 was Jack’s top red from 2014 whereas Dave chose The Yard Cabernet 2012 at $35.99 from Frankland River, made by Larry Cherubino.

Another grape variety that we enjoyed last year was Malbec. Again it was initially more famous in France and initially grown in Bordeaux before it was taken to Argentina in 1868 by French agronomist Miguel Pouget. However, today in Argentina there are now more than 10,000 hectares of vines. Plus since the 1990s the popularity has increased dramatically, more so over the last decade. The grape is also found in the Loire Valley and in the south west of France as well as in California, Chile, north east Italy and in some areas of South Africa as well as Australia either on its own or in a blend.

Ruth’s top choice for last year was a newcomer to Swanny Cellars, Mi Terruño Malbec 2013 from Mendoza Argentina. It was $21.99 when we had some in stock. We have a few other Argentinean Malbecs in stock so drop in and talk to us for our recommendations.

Steve choice was a blend of Cabernet and Malbec. His favourite was C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Malbec 2008 at $68.The wine was named after one of the early Houghton wine maker, Charles William Ferguson and is sourced from Frankland River.

Another favourite grape variety of last year was Shiraz or Syrah, as it’s also known. This was historically grown in the northern Rhône Valley but is now found in Languedoc and Provence as well as the southern Rhône where it is one of the 13 grape varieties used in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. You’ll find it also in California, South Africa, Argentina as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Stef chose the Mt Langhi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz 2009 at $110 grown in the Grampians in Victoria but we’re all sold out. Michael picked the Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz from the Barossa Valley 2012 at $22.00. We have one case left in stock so get in quick!

Another favourite was Merlot. It might be surprising to some to learn that it is more widely planted in Bordeaux than Cabernet with a larger percentage of the grape added to the blend to vineyards on the right bank such as in Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. It is more common to see Merlot blended with Cabernet Sauvignon than by itself. Merlot is also planted in Italy, Australia, Washington State and California and Argentina and New Zealand. A blend of Cabernet and Merlot from Voyager Estate, the Girt by Sea 2011 at $19.99 was John’s favourite, drop in soon as we are down to our last two cases!

The last wine that was chosen was made from the Pinot Noir grape. This grape is not only famous for the diverse wines it creates over the world including the Grand Crus in Burgundy but by the fact that it is a hard grape to grow; ripening early, preferring cooler climates, limestone soils and needing constant checking through the viticulture process. With such hard work, the great Pinots made are even more of an accomplishment.

Tim and Alan chose two that are both unfortunately sold out; the Craggy Range Pinot 2011 from Martinborough in New Zealand at $55 and Hoddles Creek Pinot Noir 2013 from the Yarra Valley at $25. But we have some excellent Pinots stocked in the store, so drop by to get in your order before Easter.