Australia has really made a special place for itself on the world wine map. There are more than 60 renowned wine regions spread all through the country and these homemade wines easily compete with wines from Italy as well as France.
Renowned wine critic, James Halliday is a veteran in the industry, being in this business for about 40 years now. Halliday has written and co – authored about 40 books on wine till date and is known for publishing an overview of Australian wines each year in the ‘James Halliday Wine Companion’.
2016 Halliday Awards were organized in Melbourne on Wednesday night where the awardees for the top six wine awards were announced prior to the release of the 2017 edition this Thursday.
Sarah Crowe from Yarra Yering, a winery situated in Yarra Valley, Victoria won the ‘winemaker of the year’ award. Her team crafted two elegant red wines, both of which scored 99 points out of 100. Only seven wines were able to achieve this score this year, and this is the very first time a female has taken home the award!
Hunter Valley’s Mount Pheasant received the ‘winery of the year’ accolade. In total, seven of their Shiraz varietals scored between 97 to 99 points, while three of their Semillon wines received 95 points and above.
The award for ‘wine of the year’ was received by Best’s Thompson Family Great Western Shiraz 2014. It is a small winery that started out with just 15 rows of Shiraz vines, planted way back in 1867. The winning wine, which was created by winemaker Justin Purser scored 99 out of 100 points. The only problem with this wine is that it gets a little hard to find and buy it.
James Halliday commented, “More than 1300 wineries have been profiled and included in this year’s edition and the first question people ask me is ‘How do you manage to do it?’ My answer is and always has been, with help obviously. I have been doing this for 11 years now and it still brings me immense joy and satisfaction to see the quality of the wines being manufactured and the ever – increasing talent of Australian winemakers. The number of sites, varietals and sub – regions has also been increasing exponentially and I could not be more thrilled! It is such an interesting and innovative industry to be working in!”
McLaren Vale’s Bondar Wines won the ‘best new winery’ award while the ‘best value winery’ award went to Larry Cherubino Wines. Arlewood Estate, located at the southern corner of the Margaret River region in Western Australia won the award titled ‘dark horse of the year’.
10 VARIETAL WINNERS
Sparkling: House of Arras Blanc des Blancs 2005, scoring 97 points
Riesling: Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard Riesling 2015, scoring 98 points
Semillon: Mount Pleasant Lovedale Hunter Valley Semillon 2009, winning 98 points
Chardonnay: Leeuwin Estate Art Series Margaret River Chardonnay 2013, scoring 98 points
Sauvignon Blanc: Geoff Weaver Ferus Lenswood Sauvignon Blanc 2014, receiving 97 points
Pinot Noir: Bass Phillip Premium Pinot Noir 2014, winning 98 points
Other Red Varietals: Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard The Peake Cabernet Shiraz 2013, scoring 98 points
Shiraz: Best's Wines Thomson Family Great Western Shiraz 2014, receiving 99 points
Cabernet Sauvignon: Yarra Yering Carrodus Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, awarded 99 points
Fortified: 1916 Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Liqueur, scoring 100 points