Top 100 Red Wines 2017
selected by Wine expert Ray Jordan

Ray Jordan is Western Australia’s leading wine writer who has been writing about wine for more than 30 years, and is best known for his annual Western Australian Wine Guide (first published 2002). Ray currently writes two regular weekly columns in The West Australian and the West Weekend magazine, while also contributing to other publications. Each year Ray undertakes the mammoth task of tasting and judging up to 650+ wines from across Australia, whittling the list down to just 100 of the best red wines in the country.

This is our shortlist of Ray Jordan's Top 100 Reds, complete tasting notes are below for your enjoyment. Once you have worked your way through the below 15, you'll only have 85 more to try.

Drop in to your local Liquor Barons today, stocks of these 15 wines are very limited and sell out fast. You can ask your local independent Liquor Baron's store owner (likely the person at the counter!) to order in any of these bottles for you.

  • Best of the Best – Woodlands Clementine, 2015
  • Best Value – Houghton Red Classic, 2014   
  • Best $15 to $20 – Deep Woods Shiraz et al, 2015
  • Best $20 to $25 – Ulithorne Dona GSM, 2015
  • Houghton Crofters Shiraz, 2014
  • Amelia Park Trellis Cabernet Merlot, 2015
  • Amberley Secret Lane Cabernet Merlot, 2014
  • Castelli Shiraz Malbec, 2015
  • Yalumba, Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015
  • Hesketh Midday Somewhere Shiraz, 2016
  • Jacob’s Creek Barossa Signature Shiraz,  2015
  • Pepperjack Shiraz, 2015
  • Battle of Bosworth Puritan Shiraz, 2016
  • Teusner The Riebke Shiraz, 2015
  • Amelia Park Cabernet Merlot, 2015

Ray's Award for Best of the besT

woodlands, 2015 clementine

So here it is; the unquestioned wine of the tasting.

A blend of 55% cabernet with the remainder mainly merlot and malbec and just a small amount of petit verdot. The fruit intensity is superb and the oak so well managed. It is quality through and through and clearly has class stamped all over it.

RAY'S SCORE: 96/100


Houghton, 2015 Shiraz

Perth Royal Wine Show Winner of

  • Best shiraz
  • Best 2015 wine
  • Best West Australian red wine
  • Best red wine of the show

Nice Medium-bodied shiraz. Plummy with some light cedar and deeper blackberry nuances. Fine supple tannins and a light touch of oak to complete.

RAY'S SCORE: 91/100

Best Value RED WINE 

Houghton 2014 red classic

Houghton Red Classic, 2014

This blend of cab shiraz and merlot always delivers the goods. Remarkable wine for the price. And it is a gold medal winner and it’s not hard to see why. Some mighty good fruit in here. Absolutely nails everything you want in a wine at this price point.


Best $15 to $20 RED Wine

Deep Woods 2015 Shiraz Et Al

Deep Woods Shiraz et al, 2015

This gives the traditional Rhone blend a little tweak using malbec instead of mourvedre. That’s the “M”. It works so beautifully well and it still amazes me that this sells for around the $20 mark. Generous and fruity with loads of toasty chocolate influences. A little sprinkle of spices adds a finishing lift. 



Best Value $20 - $25

ultihorne 2015 dona gsm

Ulithorne Dona GSM, 2015

Gosh this is a good wine. Exquisitely balanced with a seamless integrated palate that does set this one apart from so many. Like the savoury ad slightly grainy mouth feel, focused tannins and good weight oak. It all adds up to a super wine that has quality winemaking stamped all over it. 


Top picks:

Amelia Park, Trellis 2015 Cabernet Merlot

Amelia Park Trellis Cabernet Merlot, 2015

This was the big winner a couple of years ago when it made its debut. This one is right on the money for offering great value. Ripe and fruity with a little lick of oak. Balanced and showing some good fruit qualities. Loads of black currant goodies.


Houghton, 2014 Crofters Shiraz

Houghton Crofters Shiraz, 2014

Another very good wine under this revitalized label. It’s sourced from Frankland River where the quality of shiraz is pretty much always exceptional. A most elegant wine with fine chalky tannins and fine-grained oak working through the cherry and typical Frankland blueberry characters.


Amberley 2014 Secret Lane Cabernet Merlot

Amberley Secret Lane Cabernet Merlot, 2014

Another excellent wine under what has become a brand name rather than a vineyard of origin. Has all that you want in this price category with good balance and poise and vibrant lively fruit characters.



Castelli Shiraz Malbec, 2015

Great to see Malbec being put to such a worthy use. It’s such a god variety for blending and with shiraz it is an underrated and seldom used winner. Lifted blueberry and deeper plum characters with a nice floral leafy note on the nose. Dense middle palate pushes to a long finish.



Yalumba, Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015

Cabernet can be a bit hit and miss in this price bracket, yet here we have something that works. Medium bodied lifted red berry fruit on the nose with a lovely balanced palate. A stylish and impressive wine for the price. 



Hesketh Midday Somewhere Shiraz, 2016

This was the big winner last year and hits all the right notes this year. Soft and smooth with a generous middle palate of sweet supple fruit. Lifted finish and great current drinking.


Jacob’s Creek Barossa Signature Shiraz, 2015

You must admire the winemaking with Jacob’s Creek. Such a massive production, and yet the attention to detail to produce quality wines that stand up against anything at similar prices is quite remarkable. This is another beauty.



Pepperjack Shiraz, 2015

This has become a consistent wine over the years and this one nails it yet again. Comes from the Barossa and is treated with a degree of finesse to capture the best from this excellent fruit. You could keep this for a few years to get an extra dimension.


Battle of Bosworth Puritan Shiraz, 2016

No preservative added to this McLaren Vale shiraz. It’s made as a young light and fresh easy drinking red wine and is best in the short term. Savoury plum and loads of punchy fruit on the finish.



Teusner The Riebke Shiraz, 2015

From the Ebenezer area within the Barossa. Smooth and seamless pure Barossa shiraz with an earthy loamy character that seems to come direct from the soils of this famous region.


Amelia Park Cabernet Merlot, 2015

This blend of cabernet and merlot nails the style for a medium term cellaring totally pleasing red wine. Good depth of fruit supported with slightly grainy tannin, and a lick of oak. The palate is so well balanced with the blackcurrant and fruit satsuma plum flavours bursting through to the long finish.



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