Our Favourite Wines Of The Year: 12 Superb Wines For Christmas

With the countdown to Christmas now well and truly underway, in this edition of Corker we re-visit some of the most popular wines of the past twelve months.

All of the featured wines made a big impact due to their quality, value for money and overwhelmingly positive feedback from Corker readers.

As always purchase any 12 bottles and receive free delivery to most metro areas of Australia. 


The team at AusCellardoor


Ph: 1800 088 022

2018 Alkoomi White Label Riesling - $14.90

Alkoomi Wines is one of the most consistent performers in WA's cool-climate Frankland River region; a region well-known for producing some of Australia's finest Riesling. This 2018 Alkoomi Frankland River Riesling offers typically vibrant and intense fruit flavours of lemon, grapefruit and lychee, the soft mouth-watering acidity adds freshness and length to the palate. A wine that can be enjoyed with or without food, this offers incredible value Riesling drinking at this great price. 

"Western Australia's Great Southern is one of Australia's best sources of riesling - it's cool and inland with a continental climate which suits this grape. The remarkable thing is how wineries like Alkoomi field such fine riesling at such a low price. This is their entry-level bottling, but make no mistake, it's a high-quality wine. Tight, lively and energy-filled, its smells of stone-fruits including nectarine, and while the acidity is crisp and lively the palate in not too dry but fruity, balanced and charmingly accessible. Drink now to six-plus years"- Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Dec/ Jan 2019.

2018 Tim Adams Pinot Gris - $18.90

"More-ish beyond deliciousness" - Tony Love

Tim Adams Pinot Gris is one of our favourite examples of this incredibly popular white wine variety. The 2018 Tim Adams Pinot Gris displays an incredible fruit vibrancy, with beautiful rounded mouthfeel and an appealing underlying savoury texture. Another superb example of Australian Pinot Gris, this is an ideal match with seafood, Asian cuisine or simply by itself while the sun is shining. 

"An extremely popular annual release from respected Clare producer Tim Adams and winemaker Brett Schutz. Its point of difference has always been a faint pink or as the winery calls it, a “rose gold” tinge, a subtle result of the variety’s unusual grey-bronze skin colour. It’s immediately attractive in its cut and quartered apple and pear characters, nose to tail, with fabulous refreshing acidity underlying the whole line and length. More-ish beyond deliciousness. 4.5"- Tony Love, Herald Sun, August 7, 2018.

2018 Turkey Flat Rose - $19.90

"Absolutely spot on delicious drinking"- Campbell Mattinson

Turkey Flat has been one of the drivers of the great Rosé revival and this is undoubtedly one of the most popular Rosé's produced in Australia each year. The 2018 Turkey Flat Rosé is the 25th vintage made by the team at Turkey Flat; another benchmark example that will deliver plenty of enjoyment to the many fans of this wine. 

Turkey Flat is always remarkably quick to market with its famous Rose. This release is still settling into itself but it’s also clearly very good. It walks a great line. Dry and savoury in part, bright and fruity in other. It’s copper-crimson in colour, is slashed with raspberried fruit flavour and also carries dry spice, orange jelly and herb notes. It’s absolutely spot on delicious drinking. Rated: 93 Points Tasted: Sep18 Alcohol: 13% Price: $21 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2018 - 2020" - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front. 

“beautiful salmon pink in colour, alluring bouquet with nice florals and a light smattering of red fruit, with a great clean crisp mouthful of flavour with a refreshing finish. Exciting and excellent.” - Dan Traucki.

2016 Shottesbrooke Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon - $14.90

Very Limited Last Stocks | 95 Points - James Halliday

South Australia's Langhorne Creek region has claims to being one of the best value wine regions anywhere in Australia. The overall quality of their red wines in particular is excellent, with plenty of outstanding wines on offer for well under $20 a bottle. 

This 2016 Shottesbrooke Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect example of the quality and value for money to be found in South Australia's Langhorne Creek region. Fragrant and approachable, this medium-bodied Cabernet is brimming with plenty of varietal blackcurrant, subtle mint and dark cherry flavours, with a touch of quality oak and a silky mouthfeel rounding it off perfectly. A wine that is ready to be enjoyed now, this offers extraordinary value for money at this bargain price. 

"95 Points. While not particularly deep, the hue is youthful, and the fragrant eucalypt nuances that accompany the fresh cassis of the palate are regional (and shared with Coonawarra). The finely spun tannins are a feature of a medium-bodied cabernet made to be drunk whenever the idea pleases you. Screwcap. 14.5% alc. To 2030" Drink By: 2030. Closure: Screwcap"- James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2019.

2017 Riposte The Dagger Pinot Noir - $18.90

"one of the best value pinots of the year" - Campbell Mattinson

Riposte 'The Dagger' Pinot Noir has established itself among Australia's best value examples of Pinot Noir. This is the personal label of Tim Knappstein who puts his considerable experience and talent to good use with the Adelaide Hill's best varietals. The 2017 Riposte The Dagger Pinot Noir is another vibrant, rich Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir with lashings of dark berry fruit, spice and soft, subtle tannin. Ready to be enjoyed now, you'd be hard pressed to find a better value Australian Pinot Noir on the market.

"94 Points. Full colour. The dagger has only just been drawn as at September '17, but will underwrite the development of a wine that has much to offer. It has considerable depth and complexity to its plum and dark cherry fruit. A foresty/ earthy subtext adds another dimension. Screwcap. 13.5% alc. To 2025. $20. Top Value."- James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2019. 

"This is a beauty. Textural, powerful, varietal and brilliant to drink. Dark cherries and plums, a tanginess, spice and peppercorn notes. It races about, delivering pleasure as it goes. Tannin is in emery board territory. Take the wine, the price, combine the two, and clearly this is right up there as one of the best value pinots of the year. Rated: 92 Points Tasted: Nov17 Alcohol: 13.5% Price: $22 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2017 - 2023"- Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front.

2017 Torzi Matthews Schist Rock Shiraz - $17.90

Cracking New Vintage Of Schist Rock Shiraz

Torzi Matthews Schist Rock Shiraz has established itself as a perennial favourite at AusCellardoor; consistently delivering a delicious, flavoursome Barossa Shiraz that people just can't seem to get enough of.

The recently released 2017 Schist Rock Shiraz delivers everything that's made previous vintages so popular; vibrant juicy black fruit and chocolate flavours, subtle quality French oak influence, and the seemingly perfect balance between power and approachability. Another crowd-pleasing Schist Rock Shiraz that offers super value Barossa Shiraz drinking at this price. 

"Spicy greenery of whole bunch, truffle, blackberry, dried herb and flowers, a wee bit of camphor. Medium to full-bodied, fine grainy tannin, a whole lot of spice, saline and savoury stuff in among fruit of almost Ribena-like intensity. Lovely grip and chalkiness through the finish, and more of that intense blackcurrant trailing along. It’s very Eden Valley, but with Torzi fingerprints all over it. Rated: 93 Points Tasted: Oct18 Alcohol: 14.5% Price: $25 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2019 - 2024+"- Gary Walsh, The Wine Front.

2015 Majella Cabernet Sauvignon - $28.90

96 Points - James Halliday | RRP $35

Long regarded as one of Australia's finest Cabernet makers, Majella consistently deliver a top line example of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2015 Majella Cabernet Sauvignon is again in fine form; rich and juicy with plum, blackberry fruits and fruitcake-like flavours all on offer on this complex palate. As ever the finish is long with subtle, soft grainy tannins contributing to the impeccable structure that should see it cellar for many years to come.  

"96 Points. This hits the bullseye, a great example of the synergy between place and variety. Its colour is good, as it the bouquet, and that arrow arrives the moment the wine enters the mouth. It has waves of luscious, juicy red and black fruits that fill every corner of the palate, tannins and oak doing the job expected of them. Screwcap. 14.5% alc. To 2040. $35" - James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2019.

2017 Mount Langi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz - $28.90

"an outstanding release of this wine" - Mike Bennie

Mount Langi Ghiran in the Grampians has long been regarded as one of Australia's leading cool-climate Shiraz makers, and their Cliff Edge Shiraz always punches well above its weight in the value for money stakes.

Supremely elegant and supple, the 2017 Mount Langi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz continues the outstanding recent form of this wine; delivering intense red and black cherry fruit flavours complimented by subtle oak, fine acidity and the pepper spice the region is famous for. The impressive length and balance makes it a standout Shiraz at this price that will appeal to the many fans of Mount Langi Ghiran. 

"Strong regional pepper character, dark plummy fruit scents, a touch of espresso/dark chocolate. Generous introduction to start the wine. Lithe and fresh to taste, medium weight, tightened with a corkscrew of silty tannins, brooding dark fruit flavours jostling with cola and peppery spice. Sinewy, formed and shapely, long, elegant, lip-smacking goodness. This is an outstanding release of this wine. Rated: 93 Points Tasted: AUG18 Alcohol: 13.8% Price: $33 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2018 - 2026"- Mike Bennie, The Wine Front.

2016 Paringa Estate Peninsula Shiraz - $28.90

97 Points - James Halliday

The 2016 vintage at Paringa Estate marked owner and winemaker Lindsay McCall’s 29th vintage at this esteemed Mornington Peninsula winery. Those 27 vintages represent one of the more remarkable stories in the Australian wine industry. The first plantings took place in 1985, following the purchase of a derelict orchard on Paringa Road. Today it stands as one of Australia's most respected wineries, with a reputation for outstanding cool-climate wines. 

This 2016 Paringa Peninsula Shiraz is an outstanding example of Mornington Peninsula Shiraz; medium-bodied with ample black fruits, pepper and fine grained tannins. A small amount (5%) of Viognier is co-fermented with the Shiraz, which enhances the aromatics. This is a Mornington Peninsula Shiraz of impeccable balance, texture and understated power from this acclaimed producer.

"97 Points. Absolutely classic Paringa, one of the best - if not the best - of the early starters, with full-on cool climate shiraz thrust. Likewise, classic blackberry, blood plum and licorice flavours are supported by fine tannins and subtle oak. Price when Tasted: $29.00 Date when Tasted: 01 Mar 2018 Alcohol: 14% Drink By: 2046 Closure: Screwcap" - James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2019.

2016 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay - $36.90

97 Points - James Halliday

As a pioneer of Western Australia's Margaret River wine region, Cape Mentelle consistently produce one of Australia's leading Chardonnays. The 2016 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay is another stunning rendition; delivering a powerful, intensely flavoured and perfectly balanced Margaret River Chardonnay that will further bolster the reputation of Cape Mentelle. 

"97 Points. Full-on green-gold; it's exceptionally intense and concentrated, with all manner of stone fruits and a savoury gauze of grapefruit juice and zest. The acidity is important now, and will be so later. Striking. Screwcap. 14% alc. To 2026. $45"- James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2019. 

"A bolder iteration of one of Australia’s classic wines. Almost Leeuwin-esque. Let that bad boy off its chain! Golden colour. Nectarine, dried pear, cashew, ginger and spices, struck match. Powerful, juicy and dripping with peach and pear, tight acidity of intensity and almost cumquat intensity, toasty oak and barrel ferment character, and a preserved lemon piquancy to close, with a light chalkiness in texture. Big flavour and big style. Like this, though suggest it may not be one for the ages. Get stuck in. Rated: 94 Points Tasted: Oct17 Alcohol: 14% Price: $47 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2017 - 2021+"- Gary Walsh, The Wine Front.

2016 Torbreck The Steading GSM - $39.90

Top Line Barossa Blend | 96 Points - James Halliday

Protecting and nurturing the dry-grown old vine resources of the Barossa Valley is paramount to Torbreck as they continue to deliver some of this famous region's most impressive wines. While it's far from their most expensive wine, Torbreck consistently state The Steading is the most important wine they make; the one that best exemplifies what Torbreck is all about.

The 2016 The Steading is a shining example of the lofty heights that can be achieved from blending the ancient Barossa cultivars; Grenache, Mataro and Shiraz. Sourced from Torbreck's own estate vineyards as well as from growers on a share-farming basis, The Steading has a total of 45 different sources of grapes, which are vinified separately and blended once their individual qualities have been assessed. The result is another generous and flavoursome example of this classic Barossa blend, with lovely freshness and silky mouthfeel delivering a superb drinking red wine. 

"96 Points. 55% grenache, 28% shiraz, 17% mataro, destemmed, open-fermented, matured for 20 months in large foudres before blending. This is wholly traditional, and also very good. Its complexity and richness have energy, focus and freshness, an ever-changing cast of flavours crossing the palate on their way to the finish. The alcohol in no way imposes itself on you. Drink by: 2036 Date tasted: 24/ Feb/ 2018. Alcohol: 15%"- James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au.

2016 Kay Brothers Block 6 Shiraz - $89.90

"a top shelf Block 6"- Gary Walsh

Kay Brothers Block 6 Shiraz has firmly established itself as one of Australia's most iconic red wines. Each vintage the Block 6 Shiraz grapes are lovingly tended, handpicked and fermented in the original open fermenters originally built by the Kay Brothers in the late 1890's. Basket-pressed and aged for 20 months in American and Baltic oak, the result is a Shiraz of noted strength, structure and longevity; Block 6 Shiraz.

The 2016 vintage of Kay Brothers Amery Block 6 Shiraz has just been released and our very limited stocks of this iconic McLaren Vale Shiraz will again sell out very quickly. 

"96 Points. Liquorice and blackness; could somebody please turn the lights back on? Full bodied, dense and massed with silty smooth tannin, black olives rolled in dried herb, iron, some vanilla oak prettiness, bright boysenberry acidity pushes it along, and then a long savoury earthen finish. Brooding and magnificent. It’s a top shelf Block 6. Tasted: Sep18 Alcohol: 14% Price: $95 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2022 - 2038+"- Gary Walsh, The Wine Front. 

"96 Points. The front label boldly declares, "Handpicked from 124 year old vines", a teaser to the seamless complexity and effortless confidence of this lauded label. 2016 goes down among my favourites yet, for its calm juxtaposition of reverberating depth of satsuma plum and black cherry fruits and exotic spice and its finely poised structure of firm, finely textured tannins and gliding persistence. 14.0%. $95.00"- Tyson Stelzer, WBM Magazine, Sept / Oct 2018. 

"96 Points. Bay leaf, violets and peppery spice mark the nose of the 2016 Shiraz Block 6, produced from vines planted in 1892. It's full-bodied, creamy and supple, then it turns rich and velvety on the long finish. The texture this year really sets it apart, while the flavors of boysenberry and blackberry are wonderfully accented by hints of cracked pepper. Drink Date 2020 - 2035"- Joe Czerwinski, The Wine Advocate, September 2018.