Updated November 2014

Best Big Aussie Reds Under $20

We’ve gone out of our way to find some really exciting wines that won’t break the bank. Wines re listed by type in ascending price order, with links to the merchants with the best price.

From December 8, 2014 the full list below (and a whole lot more) will be available only to paid subscribers or trialists, so why not join them? To access all our Best Wines lists by price and by type plus our famous Friday Bargain Alerts and our plain-speaking wine reviews, why not take a 2 week trial of BWU$20 or join us for just $30 a year or $3 a month? Following our tips, you’ll save more than $30 on your first purchase!

1. Shiraz

Wine Men Of Gotham Shiraz 2012 – $5.65 at Dan M’s Big, soft, seductive South Australian red at a bargain price

Water Wheel Memsie Shiraz 2012 $10 at Dan M‘s ‘ … the best from Water Wheel for many years, and outstanding value – indeed unbelievably good.’ JH

Bengalee Barossa Valley (Greenock) Shiraz 2012 – $10 at GLUG. David Farmer raves about this wine from a good year and the right corner of the Barossa Valley.

Zeppelin Big Bertha Shiraz 2012 – $13 at MyCellars Big, soft and cuddly Brossa Shiraz, made by Kym Teusner and Corey Ryan. Terrific value.

Ingoldby Shiraz 2012 – $12 at Kemenys. Won the trophy for best under $20 Shiraz at the Visy 2013 Great Shiraz Challenge. Big, chunky McLaren Vale red style.

Lake Breeze Bullant Shiraz 2011 – $13 at Winelistaustralia Lovely rich red from a top winery at Langhorne Creek. Bargain. 14.5%

Hidden Label McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 – $13 at Kemenys. This is Gemtree Uncut Shiraz, a monster of a wine with enormous concentration. Needs more time.

Schild Estate Wines Barossa Shiraz 2010 – $15 at Dan M’s Liquorice, black plum, black cherry, vanillan oak and dry herbs, great with food.14.5%

Reilly’s R Shiraz 2012 – $15 at Nicks (Vintage Direct). Big, rich Clare Shiraz that stuffs terrific concentration and flavour into the bottle

Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Shiraz 2012 – $16 at Kemenys. Big dense Shiraz but tightly wound, needs a couple of years to open up.

Teusner The Riebke Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012$18 at Kemenys Made from old vines in the northern Barossa, big, ripe Dolly Parton style. 14.5%

Sevenhill Inigo Shiraz 2012$17 at Nicks (Vintage Direct) Huge, rich Clare Shiraz serves up a feast of liquorice, blackberry, toasty oak and spices. 15.5%.

Captain Barossa Mackenzie Shiraz 2010 – $18 at the winery. Rich but tightly wound Barossa Shiraz from a great year. Depth and length, perfect structure and a big future.

Pepperjack Shiraz 2012$18.50 at Kemenys. Poor Man’s Grange. Big, rich and robust, won the Visy 2013 Great Aussie Shiraz Challenge. Often seen at $16.95 at Dan M’s.

Mitchell Peppertree Shiraz 2010$20 at MyCellars Terrific Clare Valley Shiraz, big and crammed full of flavour, will improve for years

Bailey’s of Glenrowan Shiraz 2012$23 at Wineboxwarehouse. A Shiraz with a lot of form – great form. A must for serious Shiraz lovers.

Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz 2012$23 at MyCellars. Big, rich benchmark Barossa Shiraz. Class Act.

CR Shiraz 2012 – $23 at Dan M’s Huge Barossa red with a cult following. This one’s only 15%

Bellarmine Pemberton Shiraz 2010 – $25 at Kemenys. The sheer size is a surprise here, and shows that Pemberton can make reds with muscle. Layers of flavour but plenty of refinement as well.

Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz 2010– $24 at Empty Glass. Sarah and Sparky Marquis specialize in overripe 16% reds. This is their best value label, and delivers (in their words) ‘a massive array of flavours, and awesome intensity but the thing that really finishes the wine off is the creamy layers and smooth mouth feel. It’s so voluptuous.’

2. Shiraz Blends Under $20

Heartland Spice Trader Shiraz Cabernet 2012 – $13 at MyCellars. Big, rich red from the Barossa, won the sub $20 section at the 2013 Great Aussie Red competion.

Teusner The Pleasure Garden Barossa Shiraz Grenache 2012 – $15 at ALDI. Perhaps we were a bit harsh on this red a while back, calling it a fruit bomb. Other reviewers like it much better: Huon Hooke says it’s one of the bargains of the year and gives it 92 points. Mike Bennie at the Winefront gives it 91.

Langdorf Barossa Valley Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2010 – $15 at GLUG Lovely GSM with stacks of sweet, seductive fruit in a medium-bodied style. Bargain.

Thorn Clarke Terra Shiraz Cabernet Petit Verdot 2010 – $16 at MyCellars. This robust red won the sub $20 Great Aussie Red challenge 2012. No idea why it’s still around.

Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run GSM 2012 – $17 at Wineonline. This winery hasn’t put a foot wrong of late: gorgeous GSM from Clare, choc-full of ripe fruit.

Glaetzer Wallace Shiraz Grenache 2012 – $18 at Nicks (Vintage Direct) A big, black, soft, ripe blend of 80% Shiraz and 20% Grenache made from 60-80 year old vines.

Soul Growers Equilibrium Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2011 – $20 at Winedirect. A monster (15.5%) SGM – plush, rich and cuddly.

The Harem ‘Layla’ Barossa Valley Grenache Mataro Shiraz 2012$12 at GLUG The wine is every bit as exciting as the label. Big, bold GSM, voluptuous fruit.

Turkey Flat Butchers Block Red 2012 – $19 at MyCellars. One of our favourite GSMs, always a good bet.

Rara Avis Barossa Valley Mataro Grenache 2008– $18 at GLUG. Haven’t tried this but the fruit comes from some pretty special vineyards and the wine is made by Phil Lehmann.

Sons of Eden ‘Kennedy’ GSM 2012 – $20 at MyCellars. Made by Corey Ryan from fruit off a 50 year-old Light Pass Vineyard, planted by the Kennedy Family and tended by Leo ‘Joe’ KENNEDY who used to sell the fruit to Barossa winemakers. Haven’t tried this vintage but JH gives it 96, and GW 93.

Gilligan Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2010 – $20 at Wineonline. Big red, featuring earth and tar and leather and tasty things.

Tim Smith Mataro Grenache Shiraz 2012 – $22 at MyCellars. Handmade from some of the Barossa’s oldest vines. Just plain gorgeous, sumptuous, hard to put down glass of rich, velvety red full of sweet berries and spices.

Hentley Farm The Stray Mongrel Grenache Shiraz Zinfandel 2013 – $23 at WSD. Hentley Farm in the Barossa is Halliday’s winery of the year. It is owned by the Hentschkes – no, not a spelling mistake – who make reds with serious attitude. This is one of the few affordable wines in the hand-made line-up.

Teusner ‘Joshua’ G.M.S 2012 – $23 at MyCellars. Joshua is Avatar’s little brother, full of ripe fruit and forward charm.

Head Red GSM 2013 – $23 at MyCellars. Mostly Grenache but some Shiraz and Mataro. Hand-made from old vines by Alex Head.

3. Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends Under $20

Church Block Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot 2011 $14 at Dan M’s Ever popular McLaren Vale red, a rich, full-bodied style with a smooth finish.

Bullant Langhorne Creek Cabernet Merlot 2010 $14 at Winelistaustralia Big softies for enjoying soon, made by the great team at Lake Breeze at Langhorne Creek.

West Cape Howe Cape to Cape Cabernet Merlot 2012 – $15 at Dan M’s. This is a big Cab Merlot with a lot of stuffing, won a WA comp late last year.

Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – $15 at Dan M’s Old-fashioned style, interesting flavours including aged ones, great food wine.

Pikes ‘Dogwalk’ Cabernet Merlot 2010 – $16 at Wineonline Made for early drinking but has plenty to offer. From one of the great Clare wineries.

Lake Breeze Bernoota Shiraz Cabernet 2012$20 at Winelistaustralia. Stunning red with layers of flavour from one of our most underrated wineries

Lake Breeze Bernoota Cabernet Sauvignon 2012$20 at Cloudwine. Great, deep and complex Langhorne Creek Cabernet, underrated.

Mr Riggs the Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – $19 at Kemenys. Big, rich red made by Ben Riggs from Coonawarra fruit. Ready to drink

Balnaves The Blend 2012 – $19 at Wineonline. A big Bordeaux Bland from Coonawarra, needs a bit more time to settle down.

Mitchell Sevenhill Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 – $20 at Winesellersdirect. This is one of our best Cabernets, and is underpriced at its usual $25 – $30. The 2006 reflects the vintage and is bigger than usual, showing a lot flavour development with notes of tar and leather. Great food wine.

O’Leary Walker Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – $20 at 1st Choice Big but superbly balanced, beautifully made, lovely rich Cabernet. 14.5%

Mitolo Jester Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – $20 at Nicks Vintage Direct 20% of the fruit was dried in the sun – Amarone style – to concentrate flavours and alcohol. 14.9%


Kaesler Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – $22 at Nicks (Vintage Direct) Huge Barossa Cabernet – 15.5%. Steak and eggs in a bottle, and a good cigar.


Tres Picos Garnacha 2011 – $21 at Dan M’s Great big Spanish Grenache with tons of flavour and sweet fruit

Andy Kalleske 2009 AK Durif – $18 at Captain Barossa Everything here including Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte! Wonderful stuff

Hope Farm McLaren Vale Mataro 2010– $13 at Glug Wonderful Mataro that is sweet and juicy and rich and satisfying

Chalk Hill Sangiovese 2012 – $16 at Winedirect. A big, dark, serious Sangiovese from McLaren Vale.

Woods Crampton Mataro 2012 – $18 at Kemenys. Benchmark Mataro made in small quantities from old vines in the Barossa