From France’s Bordeaux and Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Italy’s Valpolicella and Super Tuscans, some of the world’s most iconic red wines are blends.
Below, you’ll find classic bedfellows such as shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, plus less obvious, but no less complementary, couplings between varieties such as shiraz and pinot noir. Whatever the combination, each of the 12 wines listed below is packed with flavour.
We asked the producers to tell us about their blends and the best ways to enjoy them.
Winemakers Tim Dolan and Stephen Dew say: At Kaesler we practice ‘regenerative farming’ to not only sustain the environment but improve it. This has enabled us to source fruit for this special blend from vines with an average age of 90 years. This wine is a blend of 75 per cent grenache and 25 per cent mourvèdre and has been made in an approachable style that is ready to drink now or cellar for 10 years.
Best enjoyed: This wine goes perfectly with slow-roasted pork or lamb with vegetables. It can also be enjoyed slightly chilled in the warmer months.
RRP $40 | Drink to 2030 | kaesler.com.au
Winemaker Patrick Wood says: This is a blend made with a purpose. It was conceived as a wine to accompany food in the southern European tradition. The Macedon cool climate cabernet has a lightness, but with great acidity, tannin and structure. When married with the very approachable, soft and fruit sweet Heathcote shiraz you have a wine that is perfect for food.
Best enjoyed: Over a meal with friends. It is the made to enhance your favourite European foods like pasta, pizza and paella. This wine is made to be enjoyed now but will reward cellaring.
RRP $30 | Drink to 2030 | kynetonridge.com.au
Winemaker Simon Steele says: Influenced by the blending of these two varieties with great success in the Hunter Valley, the first YRB was bottled in 2015 and was an immediate crowd favourite for its electric purple colour, floral fragrant nose and juicy slippery palate. The single vineyard wine is made from two blocks, but also two varieties, so the main focus to begin with is picking date, as we needed to pick the shiraz within 48 hours of the pinot noir to ensure co-fermentation.
Best enjoyed: At about 16–18 degrees with shared plates of fresh seasonal foods. Spice is not a problem as the wine is so juicy and mouthwatering. Drink anytime over the next few years, but we have sense that this will be a lovely savoury balanced wine eight years on.
RRP $45 | Drink to 2030 | medhurstwines.com.au
Winemaker Jim Urlwin says: Each year the blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon is assessed based on the fruit we see in the winery. The 2021 vintage is a blend of 80 per cent shiraz and 20 per cent cabernet sauvignon. The iconic White Label collection is sourced from parcels of fruit throughout the Metala single vineyard and represent the power and expression of Langhorne Creek.
Best enjoyed: Enjoy with big flavours like slow-cooked barbecue ribs.
RRP $20 | Drink 2028–2033 | metala.com.au
Winemaker Brian Nitschinsk says: The cabernet and merlot grapes were field blended before being lightly crushed, destemmed and small bin fermented. Each bin received a mix of hand plunging and gentle pump overs, before being rested to French oak barrels for almost 18 months. The wine in barrel showed exceptional flavour development and will develop further with time in the bottle.
Best enjoyed: Being cool climate, this wine can be enjoyed with a range of lighter meals typically served during winter. My favourite is rosemary and garlic-infused eight-hour slow-cooked leg of lamb with roast veggies.
RRP $35 | Drink to 2030 | mountbensonestate.com.au
General Manager Steven Paul says: The aim is to produce a light dry red that is approachable, unpretentious and fun, with bright colour, low tannin and expressive fruit. This is achieved by pressing off the fruit early and transferring to a stainless steel tank. This maintains bright vibrant colour, and a softer tannin profile. The wine is then blended and bottled early in the same year as vintage, to capture the youthful early drinking style.
Best enjoyed: Best served in a large glass just below room temperature, or even slightly chilled, to accentuate the bright expressive fruit notes. Decanting is not required for such a youthful style. Food matches include charcuterie, soft cheeses, or light dishes such as quiche and salad.
RRP $24 | Drink to 2026 | oakdene.com.au
Winemaker Scott McCarthy says: I love this blend, here we combine the finesse of the Yarra Valley and the depth and richness of Heathcote. The syrah delivers the fruit, the cabernet infuses a savoury focus and the nebbiolo brings it all together with elegant structure.
Best enjoyed: Enjoy this wine with a hearty chunky beef pie or slow-cooked lamb shanks with mash. Serve in a large red wine glass at about 15 degrees celsius – so you may need to pop it into the fridge for fifteen minutes to bring the temperature to the right level for optimum enjoyment.
RRP $50 | Drink to 2030 | soumah.com.au
Winemaker Tobias Ansted says: The focus for this wine is on the the fruit expression and the winemaking is kept fairly simple. Grenache provides lift and silky tannins, shiraz gives mid-palate weight and the mourvèdre length and a savoury finish.
Best enjoyed: To show the wine at its best, and if you have the patience, some gentle decanting prior to drinking can really enhance the aromatic potential of this wine.
RRP $38 | Drink to 2030 | tellurianwines.com.au
Winemakers Tessa Brown and Jeremy Schmölzer say: Our Prêt-à-Rouge has always intended to communicate something about the intrinsic qualities of Beechworth’s famed red wine structure, in an accessible, earlier drinking frame. We work hard to over-deliver on succulence and approachability while still boasting classic Beechworth shape and savoury length with this blend of syrah and pinot noir.
Best enjoyed: This is the perfect pizza or pasta wine. We’d love it to be enjoyed without it being the centre of attention, and for it to disappear quickly and have you reaching for another. If half the table wants shiraz and the other half wants pinot, everyone will be happy with this guy.
RRP $33 | Drink to 2026 | vsandb.com.au
Senior winemaker Emma Wood says: Church Block was created by Greg Trott, with the first vintage made from the 1972 vintage. It has a cult-like following, famous for its balance and approachability on release and the ability to age gracefully in the cellar. 2021 exemplifies the Church Block style, with cabernet leading the nose and the structure and shiraz filling out the mid-palate with plush generosity.
Best enjoyed: Church Block will look better after a quick decant, but the most important serving suggestion is to share it with great people.
RRP $25 | Drink to 2038 | wirrawirra.com
Winemaker Joe Cory says: If you’re looking for a medium-bodied red, it’s hard to go past Cluny. It’s the ideal “Bordeaux blend” – with a juicy palate and lingering soft finish. Our Cluny has complexity and depth derived from the blending of four grape varieties: cabernet sauvignon (68 per cent), merlot (18 per cent), malbec (7 per cent) and cabernet franc (7 per cent).
Best enjoyed: Enjoy a glass with home-cooked Italian dinners, or pair it with richer meats like lamb shanks and pork belly. It’s a great wine for a chilly autumn night by the fire.
RRP $24.99 | Drink to 2030 | zema.com.au
Winemaker Brian Nitschinsk says: This wine is a blend produced from our 2019 syrah (two thirds) and cabernet sauvignon (one third) grapes, vinified separately. Both batches of grapes were destemmed with a minor crush to give a more whole berry ferment, rested on skins for two months, before being gently pressing to tank and racking to rest in French oak (36 per cent new) barrels for 18 months.
Best enjoyed: Being cool climate, this mid-weight syrah cab can be enjoyed with a range of typically winter fair. My preference is lamb chops and veggie casserole. Throw a few mutton chops, heaps of veggies and herbs and spices to taste ( salt pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano) in the slow cooker in the morning on low heat. Decant if you have time and then sit down an enjoy your dinner and wine with family and friends.
RRP $35 | Drink to 2035 | mountbensonestate.com.au