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The 2021 Halliday Wine Companion Awards

These awards are the result of hundreds of hours of tasting by the Halliday Wine Companion team. After reviewing over 9000 Australian wines, a handful of exceptional producers are chosen by an expert panel as the best of the year – this year, a range of our wines have been selected as 90 points + which is considered exceptional.

Read about them below and purchase the Andrew Peace top 6 here.

2018 Zweigelt 87 points

Among the first Zweigelt crafted in Australia, this was inspired by a visiting Austrian winemaker. Sour cherry, bitter chocolate and a burst of frisky, herbal tannins that define the variety. A good early-term drinker.

2018 Full moon Durif 90 points special value rating

A vivid purple. A dense red that manages to mitigate the ferocious tannins of the variety with pulpy riffs on violet, dark cherry and boysenberry. Nicely extracted. Nicely played.

2018 Colour of Raven 83 points

MP Cellar release Muscat 91 points special value rating

A grapey and spicy Muscat, celebrating the variety's youthful joyousness. Turkish Delight, date, lychee and orange blossom. In the context of Aussie expressions, this is on the lighter side and good slightly chilled as an apero.

Heart and Soul Moscato 87 points special value rating

This ticks all the boxes for those looking for gentle bead of fizz, plenty of sugar and exuberant aromas of lychee, honeysuckle, ginger and spiced grape

2017 AF Barrel Reserve Cab Shiraz 91 points

A rich, atavistic expression reminiscent of days of yore. Black and blue fruit references, liquorice backstrap and pillars of piney, minty oak-driven tannins. Fishermen's Friend. A ride of nostalgia. A delicious sinful one.

2017 AF Sagrantino 93 points

While I like the concentration of fruit and vibrancy of this vintage, I prefer the earthy grounded nature of the ‘16. Lots of blue fruits here, with spice, anise and minty, eucalyptus-clad oak tannins that are drying, rather than guiding and invigorating. I can imagine the cooperage used.

2016 AF Sagrantino 93 points

Andrew Peace boasts the largest plantings of this sturdy, densely coloured and prodigiously structured Italian indigene. And very good it is, too, boding for a bright future in this dry land. I could drink this over so much warm climate Shiraz. Why? Because it has a spleen of ferruginous tannins that imbue a sophisticated savouriness, drawing one in for the next glass. Moreover, despite weight and concentration, the wine feels poised and light in the best sense, drawing on its tannic mettle to placate the fruit in the name of drinkability. Think the dry structural focus of Italy, with some Aussie fruit.

2019 MP Shiraz 86 points special value rating

A bit more savoury than the cab/Merlot blend. Plum, leaf, a whiff of reduction. This is sort of drinkable. Just.

2019 MP Pinot Grigio 87 points special value rating

A neutral, dry white wine. Plenty fresh enough with faint allusions of green apple and nashi pear.

2019 MP Rose 87 points special value rating

Cherry lipstick of hue, this is bright and tangy, reeling off notes of orange rind, watermelon and strawberry flavoured lollies.

2019 MP Sauvignon Blanc 86 points

Clearly a sauvignon from a warm place, bereft of the herbaceous punch that this variety is known for. Licks of melon, honeysuckle and greengage meander across an easy going finish.

2019 Unexpected Shiraz 87 points

The wine's moniker refers to the lack of any sulphur across the winemaking process, manifest as some unresolved CO2 to protect the blueberry to sweet cherry fruit flavours within. A gentle petillance gives lift. A mid-weighted, easy-going sassy red.

2018 Empress Cab Sauvignon 90 points special value rating

This is a solid, fully loaded cabernet, spooling cassis, damson plum and mocha oak scents across a thread of finely wrought saline tannins. At this price, one can't ask for much more

Tasted by Ned Goodwin


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