Dave Targett
6 August 2020 | Awards and Accolades, James Halliday | Dave Targett

James Halliday Wine Companion 2021

For over thirty years James Halliday has been Australia's most respected wine critic, and his Halliday Wine Companion is recognised as the industry benchmark for Australian wine. A best-selling annual, the Halliday Wine Companion is the go-to guide for wine ratings, regions, best varietals, winery reviews and a curated selection of the best wines in Australia.

2016 Rolling Stone
Rating 97/100 and amongst the Best of the Best

Cabernet sauvignon 36%, malbec 27%, merlot 27%, petit verdot 10%, all Hazel's Vineyard. It sits on the bolder side of medium weight, but it's superbly elegant and superbly persistent. It presents a velvety flow of blackcurrant, dark chocolate, gravel, peppercorn and wood smoke-like flavours and, while the pull of tannin is strong, the flow of fruit will not be halted. Sensational example of a Margaret River cabernet blend.

2017 Hazel's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Rating 96/100
(rated Special Value)
Firm, perfumed, well-fruited and impressive. A beautiful example of the glory of cabernet. Minted blackcurrant, chicory and dark chocolate flavours cruise authoritatively through the palate. Everything here is in high class order.

2018 Hazel's Vineyard Chardonnay
Rating 96/100 
(rated Special Value)
This single vineyard series is full of stars but this is arguably the brightest of them. In the intensity of fruit and the corresponding length of flavour. It attacks straight up and simply doesn't let go. It's polished and tidy but boy does its motor hum.

2018 Calgardup Vineyard Chardonnay
Rating 95/100

Grown on a site 20km south of the Margaret River township. It's a fine-boned and lengthy wine but it doesn't leave flavour behind. Elegant power is a good way to describe it. It's flinty but not too much so, fleshed with stone fruit, touched up with meal and green apple, and intricately complex to close. All the while sweet fruit flows. It's an easy wine to get excited over.

2018 Burnside Vineyard Chardonnay
Rating 96/100

Grown on vines planted in '81. It's a flinty, funky chardonnay on the one hand, and powerful and long on the other. This really does establish its quality in emphatic terms. Nectarine, fig, grapefruit, grilled nut and spice character drive through the wine's more matchsticky notes. There's a pure, strong drive of acidity running from start to finish too. It's a top drawer release.

2018 Hazel's Vineyard Syrah
Rating 95/100

Single vineyard, 100% whole bunch, 14 days on skins, matured in a single 2800l cask on lees, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Inherently savoury as you'd expect, with roasted nut, twig and peppery spice notes running wild through the wine. There's a good push of cherry-plum fruit, too, along with graphite and gum leaf notes. There's a perfumed sweetness to this wine despite the charge of peppers. It's a beauty.

2017 Hazel's Vineyard Zinfandel
Rating 95/100

Fully destemmed, short cold soak, matured in used American hogsheads. Excellent colour; shows the 50+ years of experience by David Hohnen dating back to his days in California. Its polished dispays of cherries leaves no room for doubt - this is a lovely wine at a lipsmacking price.

2018 Laterite Hills Chardonnay
Rating 94/100

From three estate vineyards, made in the same way as the three single vineyard wines: whole-bunch pressed, oxidative handling, wild yeast and retention of full solids, matured in tank for 3 months on lees. It has built great depth, but less length.

2018 McHenry Hohnen Grenache Syrah Mataro
Rating 94/100

Savoury to its back teeth, but well fruited and textured, not to mention lengthy. It's a nutty, buoyant, boysenberried shiraz with personality galore but with succulence and softness.

2018 McHenry Hohnen BDX Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot
Rating 94/100

Mostly malbec and cabernet sauvignon with a dash of petit verdot. It's sweet-fruited and svelte with plenty of juicy, berried fruit and the perfume to match. Redcurrant and blackcurrant with peppercorn and cedar wood. Hums along before keen tannin drags it all into line.

2018 Burnside Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc - Rating 93/100

2016 Rocky Road Shiraz - Rating 92/100

2018 Rocky Road Semillion Sauvignon Blanc - Rating 90


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