24, October 2023
Halliday Wine Companion Top 100 Wineries 2023
The results of the inaugural Halliday Wine Companion Top 100 Wineries selected by Campbell Mattinson are in.
In what is a celebration of the best wineries from across Australia, five deserving McLaren Vale wineries have been included in this prestigious list:
Words by Campbell Mattinson.
At number 2 is:
No Australian winery has performed better than Yangarra over the past decade. It has covered all the bases so well that the word dominant comes to mind. It has helped revolutionise McLaren Vale grenache, it has taken Rhône whites to new levels, it’s put single-block shiraz on a pedestal and it’s been a leader of quality, drink-now, preservative free wines. Yangarra makes good wine at good prices and it also makes the best of the best; sometimes it even combines the two. If you were only going to take one Australian winery to the world, Yangarra may well be it.
At number 50 is:
Few producers do the more emphatic style of Australian red wine as well as McLaren Vale’s Hickinbotham does. All the wines in this range offer a power of fruit in a well-crafted package. Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, blends of the two, merlot and cabernet franc, all grown and made to superb standards.
At number 52 is:
Forget, if you can, the fact that few wineries can match Bondar on value – not easy given that no less than nine of its wines were awarded the Special Value icon in the current Companion. Instead, concentrate on the fact that Bondar’s McLaren Vale wines are full of energy, drive, fruit power and more. Bondar’s wines are of such relentless quality that everything produced here is almost guaranteed to be good.
Number 53 is:
The rise of this winery over the past 10 or so years has been quite something. This is a winery with no commercial compromise: it is dedicated to the top tier only, and to everything required to produce top tier wine. It shows in the glass. These McLaren Vale wines, shiraz and grenache, are luscious on the one hand, and detailed on the other.
and at number 99 is:
MMAD is new but the vineyard is not. This Blewitt Springs vineyard (McLaren Vale) was first planted in 1939 (grenache) with shiraz added in 1941 and then chenin blanc in the 1960s. There’s only been one release (of each wine) so far but there are no tentative first steps in sight; every wine comes fully realised, as a gleaming gem in its own right. If you see the name MMAD on a wine bottle, proceed with confidence, it’s good. That’s why MMAD is here.
"In short, this is a list of producers who know, in their heart and in their head, that consumers don’t owe them a living. This is a list of producers who are prepared to stake their reputation on every single wine they release." – chief editor Campbell Mattinson