Halliday names Australia’s wine of the year

August 6, 2020
By Alana House

James Halliday has revealed his wines of the year, the result of hundreds of hours of tasting by the Halliday Wine Companion team.

Widely regarded as the bible of Australian wine, the Halliday Wine Companion reviewed more than 9000 Australian wines in its quest to choose its 2021 Halliday Wine Companion Awards winners.


Wine of the Year: 2018 Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz

Halliday said: “The grapes are hand-picked and sorted, destemmed, not crushed, open-fermented with cultured yeast, hand-plunged, then have four days’ cold soak run off to barrel, and are finally matured in used French puncheons. There are 500 dozen made, and only when the season permits. None were made 1992 (two-year drought), 2008, 2012, 2015, 2016 (rain) or 2020 (smoke taint). 2018 followed 2017’s lead, each devoid of rain, allowing winemakers to choose the picking date, not a date imposed by the weather. The result was the best wines since the golden year of 1965.”


Winery of the Year: Henschke, Eden Valley, SA

Halliday said: “Henschke is the foremost medium-sized winery in Australia, and its recognition as Winery of the Year is long overdue. Whether you consider the winery’s history, the number and quality of its present wines, or its future, the answer is the same: it has no equal.”

Winemaker of the Year: Brett Grocke, Eperosa, Barossa, SA

Halliday said: “Of the 56 wines he has made since 2005, 33 have received 95 or more points. He is a fiercely committed and proud sixth-generation Barossan vigneron/winemaker; as he explains,‘Eperosa has evolved from my interest in unique vineyards and great wine. My desire is to create wine from a soil up perspective, and stay true to the premise that exceptional wine is born from great fruit.’”

Click here to view the full list of winners

House Of Arras crowned Best Sparkling Wine

The House of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2005 was awarded 99 points at the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion Awards, raising the prestigious title of Australia’s Best Sparkling Wine.

This is the third year running that House of Arras has taken Best in Category following the success of the E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004 (99 points) in 2019 and the House of Arras Rosé 2006 (97 Points) in 2018.


Chief Winemaker Ed Carr said: “It is immensely gratifying to receive such a high point score and Best Sparkling Wine, especially for the second year running for E.J. Carr Late Disgorged. A true testament to the work and dedication of the House of Arras team, this award cements our vision to craft world-class sparkling wines.

“The E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2005 is the pinnacle of House of Arras wines, with great intensity and character, excellent structural elegance and flavour persistence – reflecting all the hallmarks House of Arras wines are known for. It is wonderful to see this wine acknowledged as the best of Australia’s sparkling wines ahead of the 2020 Vintage Collection release on September 3.”

Chateau Tanunda celebrates best-ever results

Château Tanunda is celebrating – during its 130th Anniversary year – once again being named a Red Five Star Winery and with 14 wines rated over 93 points, it is their best ever results in the Halliday Wine Companion.

The ratings were high enough to achieve the formidable Red Five Star status, with 6 wines rated 95+ points, and a further 10 wines rated 91-94 Points.

The iconic 150 Year Old Vines Field Blend (RRP: $500 per bottle) was once again a 96- point star. With only 200 cases crafted from some of the oldest Grenache, Mourvèdre and Malbec vines in the world, planted back in 1858, the soon to be released 2016 vintage.

The 150 Year Old Vines Semillon 2019 was the highest rated white at 95 points, with Halliday saying: “…there’s no question at all about the power and length of the wine, nor the varietal expression”.

Halliday called the iconic and rare The Everest Shiraz 2016 “the absolute pinnacle of winemaking at Château Tanunda” and gave it 95 points.

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