Halliday Wine Companion 2020

The Halliday Wine Companion 2020 results have just been released and I am honoured to once again receive a red 5 star winery rating.

This year 24 wines received a rating of 90+ points, which are now listed below;


2016 McLaren Vale Shiraz 96 Points

  •  “Matured for 18 months in new and used French oak. This is the essence of McLaren Vale with its diamond-sharp rendition of blackberries wrapped in dark chocolate, the tannin structure like an eiderdown. The alcohol doesn’t spoil the party, it is simply a number.” James Halliday.


2016 Idle Lane Shiraz 96 Points (Vinomofo exclusive)

  • “Estate-grown in the cool Clarendon district, open-fermented with 10% whole bunches, fermentation completed in French oak (20% new). A picture-perfect rendition of McLaren Vale shiraz, opening with red cherry fruit, then the impact of partial barrel fermentation giving the wine a spicy spray of darker fruits and chocolate. The oak has been expertly managed, as have the tannins. Lovely wine.” James Halliday.

2018 Mr. Brightside Grenache Rose 95 Points

  • “Bright, lively pink; an immediately enjoyable rose, that gives the fresh, vibrant cherry-accented fruit flavours its head. The outcome is a crisp, dry, but beautifully fruit-flavoured rose.” James Halliday.

2016 Righteous Shiraz 95 Points (Chinese market exclusive)

  • “A brooding wine, buxom and cushiony. A satin velour of damson plum, black cherry, candied orange zest and licorice all-sorts billow about the mouth. Floral, too. This is handled well. The finish, effortless, and far from grating. This has flow.” Ned Goodwin


2018 Mr. Brightside Pinot Gris 94 Points

  • -“Fermented in tank and barrel with wild and cultured yeast, no new oak. It’s very complex in texture and structure, its savoury, citrussy green apple pith and skin making an emphatic statement that well made pinot gris can be a real wine of real quality, not just a hit and giggle lunch wine.” James Halliday.


2017 Piebald Syrah 94 Points SOLD OUT

  • “A lustrous magenta, this mid-weighted, highly aromatic syrah has the push and pull across the senses that marks all fine wine. Classy. Svelte. Black fruit allusions effortlessly meld with the telltale cool climate signposts of florals, iodine and lacy, peppery acidity.” Ned Goodwin.


2016 Piebald Syrah 94 Points SOLD OUT

  • “From two vineyards on opposite borders of the Adelaide Hills GI, coming together seamlessly. It has all the flavour range you could wish for, the fruit spectrum more in the red corner than black. The tannin support is precisely calibrated, the result a wine of elegance to be enjoyed now or later.” James Halliday.


2016 The Bolter Shiraz 94 Points (Coles exclusive)

  • “The total contrast between the power and depth of this wine and the languid elegance of its Piebald sibling from the Adelaide Hills hasn’t been made in the winery. It is an exercise in terroir, here the black fruits, dark chocolate and fine, but earthy/savoury tannins are a world apart from the elegant red fruits of Piebald. Personal preference, not quality, has to be the arbiter.” James Halliday.


2016 The Leader Shiraz Cabernet 94 Points (Chinese market exclusive)

  • “This hits all the right notes. Full-bodied and jubey, thrusting blue to dark fruit allusions down the throat laden with anise, notes of the bush and the stamp of generous oak. It is notable how much better the top tier wines of this estate are managed over the lower. Smoother. More plush. Less tweaked.” Ned Goodwin.


2016 Mr. Brightside Eurotrash 94 Points

  • “A wild side blend of 40% tempranillo, 30% grenache, 20% petit verdot and 10% lagrein from McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Currency Creek, with a prolonged time on skins and a brief jab of new oak before almost 2 years in old oak. A Xmas stocking jammed with goodies, red, blue, purple, black… the list goes on, the best side the toothsome savoury finish.” James Halliday.


2017 Montepulciano d’Adelaide 94 Points

  • “A splendidly generous montepulciano, red, purple and black fruits all in the contest, keeping tannins, oak and acidity all at bay. There may be some oak on the sideline, but it’s largely irrelevant.” James Halliday.


2016 The Elder Fortified Shiraz 94 Points

  • “Bottled young and virile, much like a vintage port. Powerful, sure, but with a litheness that belies the morass of dark fruit, raisin, molasses and tar. This will stretch well into a long future.” Ned Goodwin.


2018 Ein Riese Riesling 93 Points

  • “Ein Riese, or ‘giant’, indicates the ilk of wine that Ben Riggs enjoys drinking. German riesling, this an homage. Steel ribbed enough, with lime cordial, quince and ginger spice teeming down juicy acid rails. The sweetness is swept up well enough and this will prove highly versatile at the table.” Ned Goodwin.


2017 The Gaffer Shiraz 93 Points

  • “Pure McLaren Vale across its velour of maritime freshness and gentle, assuaging tannins, soldered to black fruits flavours, orange zest, anise and cured meats. The Mr Riggs range, particularly the reds, seems softer, poised and more eminently drinkable than in years gone by. Better tannin management all ’round. Kudos!” Ned Goodwin.


2016 Dorset Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 93 Points (Chinese market exclusive)

  • “All McLaren Vale fruit, with cabernet imparting structural direction to shiraz’s generosity, while merlot provides some fill to the doughnut. This works well. Baking powder and vanillin oak are integrated with dusty grape tannins, as indicative of merlot’s plummy interplay as they are of cabernet’s stamp of authority. This has line and length.” Ned Goodwin.


2013 The Chap Shiraz Cabernet 93 Points

  • “Far from a wine of terroir, this is an ode to Australia’s traditional path to recognition: seamless invisible regional blends. After all, Coonawarra is a doyen of cabernet; McLaren Vale, a very warm climatic expression of shiraz. As a blend, they deliver the best of both worlds: choc-mint after dinner notes of Coonawarra, laden with some directive astringency; the salubrious brood of McLaren Vale’s darker fruited turf, tidied up with lashings of vanillin oak.” Ned Goodwin.


2017 Cold Chalk Chardonnay 92 Points

  • “Randal Tomich* has crafted some brilliant wines and this comes pretty close: peach syrup and nectarine tang meld with a creamy core of nougatine and toasted nuts. The rails are steely and vibrant, the fruit corralled by a mineral edge. Plenty of perk here at 12.5%, but no sacrifice of flavour.” Ned Goodwin.
  • *We believe this was a typo and is meant to state Ben Riggs.


2016 Burnt Block Shiraz 92 Points

  • “This is a hark to a halcyon period for Australian wine, at least commercially. Akin to the explosive expressions of the late ’90’s, this is a deep vermilion and redolent of crushed rock, extremely ripe plum and cherry bonbon flavours. High octane! There is some savouriness mingling in the darker recesses of this black room as licorice, tar and peppery notes lay claim to a firm finish coffee grind tannins and some oak char.” Ned Goodwin.


2017 The Magnet Grenache 92 Points

  • “Borne of a centurion plot of grenache vines destined to be bulldozed during the government’s misguided ‘Vine Pull Scheme’, this full-weighted grenache digs deep across Christmas cake spice, booze-soused raspberry and peppery briar to orange zest high tones, welded to a hard, crunchy conclusion. Unashamedly McLaren Vale.” Ned Goodwin.


2017 The Delinquent Shiraz 91 Points (Shorty’s Liquor exclusive)

  • “Boysenberry and other blue fruit references billow across the palate, with a reductive tension providing tone and direction. This is well done, providing respite for those seeking a powerful wine, while placating those after a bit of freshness.” Ned Goodwin.


2016 Old Ridge Shiraz 91 Points (Cellarmasters exclusive)

  • “A reference to a much loved spot in Clarendon, this draws on McLaren Vale’s propensity for dark fruited expressions of shiraz, punctuated with bitter chocolate, mint, licorice backstrap and purple florals. Plenty of wine here!” Ned Goodwin.


NV Battle Axe Sparkling Shiraz 91 Points

  • “If you are in the market for a lighter style, but flavoursome, sparkling shiraz, this will fit the bill. It is well made, with good red and black fruits. The price may cause some to blink.” James Halliday.


2018 Sticky End Viognier 91 Points

  • “Nicely handled, with a brisk tail of acidity curtailing viognier’s exuberance across aromas of honeysuckle, orange blossom and apricot syrup. Light-bodied and evanescent, disappearing nicely into the end of a meal.” Ned Goodwin.


2017 Mrs. Viognier 90 Points

  • “A whisper of viognier’s aromatics across spice, apricot pith and honeysuckle, yet the overall impression is one of subjugation of varietal tendencies, rather than liberation; restraint over flare. Given viognier’s inherent exuberance and penchant for viscosity, I would rather the flare.” Ned Goodwin.


Time now for a glass or two to celebrate!


Ben Riggs.