2020 Halliday Wine Companion - The Results!


One of the most highly anticipated dates in the Australian wine calendar is the release of James Halliday’s Wine Companion in August each year.

We’re delighted at the results, with all our wines awarded 90+ points and once again awarded 5 STARS for our winery. As always, it’s a testament to our team’s dedication and the artisan approach that we take when crafting our wine.


Twelftree Mortiz Blewitt Springs McLaren Vale Grenache 2016 – 97 Points

“This is exceptional high-toned grenache, embedded with a sandy elegance while managing to cast aside the carbonic pastille scents for something altogether more. Still, it remains true to the regional core of kirsch, briar and raspberry scents. A Mediterranean pinot quality, here. The extraction is a point following a cold maceration and all up, 13 days on skins and the inclusion of 15% whole-bunch. Maturation was in large format French wood and tank, yet the process is proof of a maker versed in the finest expressions of this delicious variety.”

Twelftree Vinegrove Barossa Valley Grenache 2016 – 96 Points

“Higher elevation and different soils: red loam, quartz and ironstone over clay. The result: a textural weave that is thicker, herbal twined with notes of chinotto, smoked meat and dark cherry amaro. But not heavier or sweeter, necessarily. Again spicy, too, and ferrous. Moroccan souk. This is another Rhone invocation. Sturdier and high on personality. The finish, piney and impressively long.”

Twelftree Schuller Blewitt Springs McLaren Vale Grenache 2016 – 96 Points

“A little more rainfall at this site than the Moritz cuvee, a little more elevation. It is also picked 8 days later, yet the winemaking is identical. The fruit expression here, cranberry, wild strawberry and raspberry liqueur seems more apparent and yet the tannins are powdery, shimmying into a long, ethereal, fibrous finish. Sand-driven grenache, this. Aussie Rayas? Such a different shade of site and variety. Compelling.”


Ares Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016 – 95 Points

“A modern take on full throttle shiraz with a blistering attack of bitter cherry, amaro and bitter coffee grind to chocolate-soused tannins. A smudge of olive, violet scents and an undercarriage of smoked meat, too. The elevage comprised 25 months maturation (20% new French wood; the remainder 1-4yo vessels). One for the hedonists, perhaps. But a wine, too, that suggests just how far we have come when considering a flamboyant style such as this.”

Aphrodite Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 – 95 Points

“As with all the wines at this address, the extraction levels are spot on, showing synergy with varietal personalities and a strong affinity to sites. This, far from sweet and delivering an artillery of finely wrought tannin to mitigate the currant, graphite, olive and sage, was served by 17 months in 40% new Taransaud barriques, the rest in slightly older wood. The result, salubrious and incredibly long of finish and flight across the senses. The oak is buried.”

Aerope Barossa Valley Grenache 2016 – 94 Points

“Straight grenache, hand-picked and destemmed into a 5t open fermenter, resplendent with 30% whole-bunch imparting a rasp of briar and meaty, coffee grind, cinnamon to clove souk-like aromas amidst the medicinal cherry flavours. 17 days on skins, too, indicative of a new and better era for Aussie expressions with plenty of fruit, sure, but signposts of tannin and spice to tone, season and impart life and wonderful length.”


Charlie’s Garden Eden Valley Shiraz 2017 – 96 Points

“This is delicious and possibly the finest of the sash of regional shiraz heroes. Gloriously fragrant. Pulpy yet firm, with bouncy blue fruit and damson plum references meshed to tightly wrought saline tannins. As is the estate’s wont across its proudest moments, this is extracted with aplomb, the oak, lees work and whole bunch (20%) intrinsic to the fine tuning, conferring a gentle tension without detracting from the free flow of joyous fruit.”

Harriet’s Garden Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2017 – 95 Points

“An 18-day maceration utilising 80% whole-bunches prior to an elevage in French oak (15% new; 18 months), has imparted a patina of exotic spice and florals welded to a timbre of woodsy, powdery tannins. Blueberry, boysenberry and mulberry. Chinotto and a briary rasp mitigate any excess. The tannins expand across every sip. This is a serious shiraz of a svelte cool climate aura, juxtaposed against ample ripeness and extract.”

Max’s Garden Heathcote Shiraz 2017 – 95 Points

“This is a pointed, vibrant and distinctive contemporary take on a region whose wines, while once front page news, often fall to a wayside of chocolatey excess. While powerful enough in a more mid-weighted guise, this is marked by a regional voice of lavender prowling the edges of ferrous gently bunchy (15% whole cluster) tannins, compact and polished. Light on its feet and approachable. Boysenberry, aniseed, violet and bonfire notes. A peppery trail of acidity carries the melody long and crunchy.”

Bella’s Garden Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017 – 95 Points

“Looser-knit than its Eden Valley sibling, yet more open and appreciable are the saturated dark berry fruits, anise, Chinese lacquer and five-spice notes, as a result. The tannins – oak and grape – are there. Palpable, tactile, juicy. But buried by the wine’s sheer generosity before they re-emerge from the morass across the wine’s tail, steering it right into savour over sweet.”

Lily’s Garden McLaren Vale Shiraz 2017 – 93 Points

“This would be as expansive and obvious as many shiraz from the region if it weren’t for a deft reductive hand and well applied oak bolsters, particularly the American quotient which works so well with this style: curtailing the flow of fruit while imparting authority and structure. With this, poise. Creamy vanilla pod to smoked meat barrel ferment notes, sure. Yet plum, florals, anise, clove and blue fruit references flow from fore to aft with a warmth and freedom.”

Samantha’s Garden Clare Valley Shiraz 2017 –   92 Points

” Quintessentially Clare across a waft of choc-mint aromas, black currant and licorice back strap to chinotto notes. Plenty flavourful, with twiggy tannins across the finish following 18 months in 2-6yo French wood.”

Gnarly Dudes Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017 – 94 Points – SOLD OUT, try the 2018 vintage

“Quintessentially Barossan, yet with a deft foot on a pedal that too often strays into excess. Not here. Boysenberry, smoked meat, fruitcake spice and dried fig to pan forte complexity. Yet a gentle reductive clench and smoked meat barrel ferment tone serve as a brake, corralling the jubilance into a peppery line of pulse and length.”

Fields of Joy Clare Valley Shiraz 2017 –  93 Points

“This is very good. The green bean choc-mint tannins that mark the region serve as bulwarks against the lustrous boysenberry, dark cherry and mulberry fruit pastille notes. A swab of licorice and an explosion of kirsch, too, across the juicy finish. This will age, but is already delicious drinking.”

Angel’s Share McLaren Vale Shiraz 2017 – 93 Points – SOLD OUT, try the 2018 vintage

“Textbook McLaren Vale shiraz. A morass of blue to dark fruit references are curtailed by a righteous dollop of American oak, a perfect curtailer of the warmth and on-edge excess of these warmer climatic expressions. A skein of pepper to clove-soused acidity perks up the rear.”

Brave Faces Barossa Valley Grenache Mouverdre Shiraz 2017 – 93 Points – SOLD OUT, try the 2018 vintage

“Tasting this I couldn’t help but think how many more makers should eschew the ridiculous GSM moniker/blend/brand and use more grenache and mourvedre over shiraz, at least in hotter zones. Finally! Grenache’s bumptious kirsch and rose water notes leap out, bustled into form by mourvedre’s ferruginous tannic etching. Shiraz, the filler in the doughnut.”

Sexy Beast McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 – 93 Points – SOLD OUT, try the 2018 vintage

“McLaren Vale cabernet is an outlier. The semi-arid maritime region boasts a distinct Mediterranean climate out of synch, at least supposedly, with cab’s maturation patterns. And yet there is always a je ne sais quoi freshness amidst the inky warmth. There are inevitably strong varietal reference points from the black currant, spearmint and sage. A warmer black olive and salt bush note, too, rears amidst it all, but the result is satisfying, rich and nourishing, at its best. This is no exception.”


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