The Best Australian Wines Of 2021 (According To James Halliday)

yarra yering station
Credit: Yarra Yering

Although the usually ritzy reveal of the annual Halliday Wine Companion award winners was reduced to yet another online reveal this year, the authoritative list celebrating the best of Australian wines is finally here. With 9,000 wines picked apart by the usual tasting panellists reduced to 29 individual winners, what you now have below is a diverse bucket list of Australian wines to help pass the time while much of the country is in lockdown, with the Halliday Wine Companion 2022 results celebrating the best of the best.

There’s not much that has changed this year compared to last, although the judging process was slightly different. For the first time in the long-running Halliday Wine Companion awards, which have been around in some form or another since 1986, the panellists made use of a shortlist. This was apparently because there were too many quality entrants this year, making the judging process a bit harder, which in turn probably makes the results a bit more pointed.

There’s also a new category this year – Viticulturist of the Year. That brings the major awards to a total of 7, alongside Winery of the Year, Winemaker of the Year, Wine of the Year, and Best New Winery. Chardonnay of the Year was apparently so hotly contested that the judges had to split the award between three winners, even though the points were slightly different.

The three highest-scoring wines of the Halliday Wine Companion 2022 results each sit pretty at 99 points. That’s the Penfolds Yattarna Bin 144 Chardonnay 2018 picking up both White Wine of the Year and sharing the podium for Chardonnay of the Year; the Yalumba The Caley Cabernet Shiraz 2016, picking up the nod for Cabernet Shiraz of the Year; and Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny 1921, the Fortified of the Year.

Halliday Wine Companion 2022 Results

2022 Major Awards

Winery of the Year – Yarra Yering, Yarra Valley, VIC

Winemaker of the Year – Michael Dhillon – Bindi Wines, Macedon Ranges, VIC

Wine of the Year – 2019 Dry Red No. 1, Yarra Yering, Yarra Valley, VIC

Best New Winery – Place of Changing Winds, Macedon Ranges, VIC

Dark Horse – Renzaglia Wines, Central Ranges, NSW

Best Value Winery – Lake Breeze, Langhorne Creek, SA

Viticulturist of the Year – Vanya Cullen, Cullen Wines, Margaret River, WA

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2022 Varietal Winners

Sparkling of the Year 
Deviation Road Beltana Blanc de Blancs 2014 –97 points

White Wine of the Year
Penfolds Yattarna Bin 144 Chardonnay 2018 (various locations) – 99 points

Red Wine of the Year
Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 1 2019 – 98 points

Sparkling White of the Year
Deviation Road Beltana Blanc de Blancs 2014 – 97 points

Sparkling Rosé of the Year
Bellebonne Natalie Fryar Vintage Rosé 2017 – 96 points

Sparkling Red of the Year
Ashton Hills Sparkling Shiraz 2015 – 95 points

Riesling of the Year
Pooley Margaret Pooley Tribute Single Vineyard Riesling 2020 – 97 points

Chardonnay of the Year (3 winners)

  • Oakridge 864 Drive Block Funder & Diamond Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 – 97 points
  • Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2018 – 98 points
  • Penfolds Yattarna Bin 144 Chardonnay 2018 (various locations) – 99 points

Semillon of the Year
Meerea Park Alexander Munro Individual Vineyard Aged Release Semillon 2011 – 96 points

Sauvignon Blanc of the Year
Terre à Terre Crayeres Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019 – 96 points

Other White of the Year
Coriole Rubato Reserve Fiano 2020 – 96 points

Rosé of the Year
La Prova Nebbiolo Rosato 2020 – 95 points

Pinot Noir of the Year
Bindi Block 5 Pinot Noir 2019 – 97 points

Grenache of the Year
Thistledown Sands of Time Old Vine Single Vineyard Blewitt Springs Grenache 2019 – 97 points

Shiraz of the Year
Tyrrell’s 4 Acres Shiraz 2019 – 97 points

Cabernet Shiraz of the Year
Yalumba The Caley Cabernet Shiraz 2016 – 99 points

Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year
Yarra Yering Carrodus Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 – 98 points

Cabernet and Family of the Year
Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 1 2019 – 98 points

Other Red of the Year
SC Pannell Aglianico 2019 – 95 points

Fortified of the Year
Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny 1921 – 99 points