19 Top-Rated in the 2022 Halliday Wine Companion


The annual Halliday Wine Companion guide showcases the finest Australian wines each year, with special mentions for the highest-scoring wines in each varietal category. In the recently launched 2022 edition, 19 of our wines feature in this Top-Rated list, including Shaw + Smith's `M3` Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, Henschke's `Hill of Grace` Shiraz and `Julius` Riesling, Peter Lehmann's `Stonewell` Shiraz, `Margaret` Semillon and `Wigan` Riesling, S.C. Pannell's `Smart` Grenache, Tolpuddle Vineyard's Chardonnay, and the `Diana Madeline` Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and `Kevin John` Chardonnay from Cullen Wines. Please see below for the full list, including vintages, scores, availability, and the tasting panel's notes.

Top-Rated Cabernet and Family

Cullen, `Diana Madeline` Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2018, Australia

Gold 98 points
An icon wine from a watershed vintage. This is Margaret River pedigree of the highest order; powdery fine tannins that shape and caress the perfectly ripe red fruits. The acidity is the driver over the tongue, the layers of flavour and texture seem never-ending. Show stopping. Pure fruit concentration. Blimey. Erin Larkin
(On allocation only. Please speak with your sales representative.)

Cullen, `Diana Madeline` Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2019, Australia
Gold 98 points
Cassis and red liquorice on the nose, bay and salt bush, too. The palate is salty and fine with layers upon layers of spice and texture. The tannins are like finely textured gills, stacked as delicately as the folds in a mushroom. The length of flavour unfurls and extends across the palate, taking so long to fade that this entire tasting note is possible off one sip. The rest are just for pleasure. Drink it now, or in 40+ years from now? both will be possible. Erin Larkin
(On allocation only. Please speak with your sales representative.)

Top-Rated Shiraz

Henschke, `Hill of Grace` Eden Valley Shiraz 2016, Australia
Gold 99 points
Such effortless grace and caressing elegance, in the presence of commanding endurance that will sustain it for half a century. This is the paradox that defines the legendary fable that is Hill of Grace. The 2016 embodies this: the profound depth of black fruits, bathed in the inimitable fragrance and exotic Chinese five-spice that characterises these old vines, set to tannins more finely textured yet more commanding than ever. Resist the seductive temptations of its youth and drink the 2015 first, because the true spectacle of 2016 is decades away. Tyson Stelzer
(On allocation only. Please speak with your sales representative.)

Peter Lehmann, Stonewell Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017, Australia
Gold 97 points
Lehmann's depth of reach into Barossa's finest sites is evident here, upholding the depth of style and greatness of its flagship, even in a cooler season. A magnificently full, vibrant purple hue, it's packed with compact, dense, crunchy, bright black fruits of all kinds, dressed in a gown of finely woven tannins. High-cocoa dark chocolate French oak has been perfectly tuned to the season. Integrity and persistence define great longevity. Tyson Stelzer
Current vintage: 2015

Top-Rated Grenache and Blends

S.C. Pannell, `Smart` Clarendon Grenache 2019, Australia 
Gold 96 points
Intense aromas of molten cherry liqueur, orange amaro, bergamot and cranberry. A fine vinous pulse, drawing the fore with the aft. Long attenuated filigreed tannins, sandy to be sure, but very fine. This is exceptional grenache that, with a few others, sets the regional high tone. Ned Goodwin MW
(Available from late August) Current vintage: 2018

Top-Rated Chardonnay

Cullen, `Kevin John` Wilyabrup Chardonnay 2019, Australia
Gold 98 points
As usual, the Kevin John arrives with an aura about it ... it undulates in the mouth, whipping and changing like Melbourne weather, 4 seasons in one day. It has exotic market spice, ripe orchard fruit, orange blossom, turmeric, saffron curls and saline acid. It's extraordinarily long, incredibly exciting and with phenolic texture that elevates it beyond the excitement that it delivers. Through it all meanders a coastal breeze, keeping it light and airy; the thundering power of Gingin fruit is concealed under many folds of flavour. Erin Larkin
(On allocation only. Please speak with your sales representative.)

Shaw + Smith, `M3` Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2020, Australia
Gold 98 points
The first thing that strikes you is an elegance that is so fundamental to the style and respectful to the elite fruit within. The faintest of oak lifts adds a complexity to start, but the energy and concentration of the fruit become the prime focus on the palate. It's all about chardonnay's finest flavours and a vibrant acidity to drive it long into the future. Tony Love
Current vintage: 2019

Tolpuddle Vineyard, Coal River Valley Chardonnay 2019, Australia
Gold 98 points
A strikingly beautiful chardonnay with its flowery bouquet bearing witness to the sheer purity of the incredibly long palate, the full palette of chardonnay flavours on display. Nectarine, white peach and grapefruit zest are sewn together by an invisible silver thread of acidity. James Halliday
(On allocation only. Please speak with your sales representative.)

Top-Rated Semillon

Peter Lehmann Masters, `Margaret` Barossa Valley Semillon 2015, Australia
Gold 96 points
I first tasted this vintage shortly after fermentation and such is its stamina that its youthful verve is upheld with astonishing clarity six years later! An impossibly pale straw-green. Shot with cut grass, fresh lemon, Granny Smith apple skin. Building preserved lemon, buttered toast and subtle nutmeg. Crystalline acidity electrifies an exceedingly long finish. The Hunter is king of dry semillon and Margaret is its only true rival. Tyson Stelzer
Current vintages: 2012/2013

Top-Rated Riesling

Henschke, `Julius` Eden Valley Riesling 2020, Australia
Gold 97 points
Filled with citrus and apple blossom on the notably expressive bouquet that leads into a delicious palate, its elfin grace and purity defying the impact of drought. Forget food matching – this lime- and lemon-infused wine has such elegance and balance it sets its own stage. James Halliday
(Limited availability. 2021 vintage available from early September.)

Peter Lehmann Masters, `Wigan` Eden Valley Riesling 2016, Australia
Gold 97 points
Wigan is king of Eden Valley riesling and yet again one of the top releases of the year. Still a magnificent straw-green at just 5yo, it's at that magic moment where primary and secondary characters unite in equal measure. All the fresh lime and Granny Smith apple of youth, backed by rising buttery, spicy, roast almond maturity. Brilliant acid line charges an astonishing finish that lasts for 30 seconds. Yes, I timed it! For all it represents, this might just be the bargain of the year. Tyson Stelzer
Current vintage: 2015

Grosset, `Polish Hill` Clare Valley Riesling 2020, Australia
Gold 96 points
This wine retains the energy and drive of Polish Hill, yet its fruit concentration and ripeness has softened out any hard edges. It's beautifully fragrant, subtle even, and the palate is long and pure with pith-like texture and excellent length. Lovely drink and ready now. Jane Faulkner
(End of allocation. 2021 vintage available from early September.)

Mount Horrocks, `Watervale` Clare Valley Riesling 2020, Australia
Gold 96 points
Wow. This is so good it's hard to put down. Beautiful poise and yet quite energising. A heady mix of white flowers, quince and lemon/lime, with a biscuity flavour, too. The acidity is fine and pure, gliding along the palate to a most resounding finish. Jane Faulkner
(Limited availability. 2021 vintage available from early September.)

Henschke, Peggy's Hill Eden Valley Riesling 2020, Australia
Gold 96 points
Delicious riesling in full-on Eden Valley style, lemon blossom aromas swiftly replayed on the juicy yet tightly framed palate. Makes life difficult for the taster such as I, with dozens of wines remaining to be tasted, prohibiting the impulse to swallow just a little bit. James Halliday
(2021 vintage available from late August)

Top-Rated Sauvignon Blanc

Cullen, `Amber` Wilyabrup Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Australia
Gold 96 points
This is easily one of the most exciting Amber releases to date. Bitter orange, citrus zest, saffron and brine, the phenolics are very fine, curling their way in and out of the ever moving fruits on the palate. Balanced, fine and thrilling to drink. Skin contact, amphora ferment, oak-matured sauvignon blanc...who'd have thought it could steal the heart so thoroughly ... but it does. Erin Larkin
Current vintage: 2020

Shaw + Smith, Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Australia
Gold 96 points
A lightness of touch now marks this wine, less wild-tropical-fruit punch and more grapefruit/citrus, both aromatic partners creating a superbly balanced aromatic pattern that is enhanced by a short maturation on lees to develop the most delicious, powdery mouthfeel. Always a style leader, now offering next-level varietal sophistication. Tony Love

Top-Rated Sparkling White

Arras, Grand Vintage 2009, Australia
Gold 97 points
Full straw-yellow hue; layered brioche complexity, powerful drive and length. Australia's answer to Krug. James Halliday
(2013 vintage available from September)

Top-Rated Sparkling Rosé

Arras, Rosé Vintage 2008, Australia
Gold 96 points
A tight and incredibly enduring vintage. Pale blush/salmon tint. All the structural integrity, tension and focus of 68% pinot noir. An intricately engineered framework supports a secondary style of long lees age (11 years) and a little more new oak influence than ever before. A vintage for the cellar. Tyson Stelzer
Current vintage: 2007

Top-Rated Fortified

Morris of Rutherglen, Old Premium Rare Liqueur Rutherglen Topaque NV, Australia
Gold 98 points
A masterclass from Australia's greatest fortified maker, David Morris, right here. The depth of complexity and intensity lays bare the art of the blender and the depth and quality of the source material. Dried fruit, malt, fruitcake, caramel toffees, liquorice, roasted hazelnut and so much more infused in an enveloping umami warmth. Jeni Port