94

2006 Yalumba, The Octavius, Barossa Valley, South Australia

( £48.99, 14.5%, Harrods, Noel Young Wines, Slurp, Winedirect )

Serious, strapping Shiraz, but with a feminine side, this is a seriously delicious Aussie red, which encapsulates the best of the Barossa, both modern and traditional. It’s ripe, soft and sweet, with succulent blackberry and raspberry fruit, a hint of coconutty oak and appealing bottle maturation. Spicy, rich, yet very well balanced.

Drinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Australia, Red, Syrah/Shiraz
93

2009 Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier, Eden Valley, South Australia

( £26.99, 14.5%, Harrods, Selfridges, Slurp )

A candidate for the title of Australia’s best Viognier (and that’s not meant to sound like faint praise), this is true to its varietal, but in a subtler way than many New World examples. White flowers, some cream, a hint of spice, nuanced oak and enough acidity to keep the wine tingling nicely on the palate.

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Australia, White, Viognier
94

NV Taittinger, Prélude, Champagne

( £47, 12%, Fortnum & Mason, Hailsham Cellars, Harrods, Majestic, Wine Rack )

If you can’t afford Comtes de Champagne (the 2000 is delicious), this is a more than acceptable substitute at under £50. It’s got lovely toasty, autolytic complexity, notes of grilled hazelnuts and citrus fruit and a very long, satifying finish. A delicious fizz.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-20Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Chardonnay