James Halliday's Top 100

James Halliday’s Top 100

James Halliday publishes his top 100 list every year just before Christmas. They are selected from the hundreds or maybe thousands of wines that James and his team taste each year.

It’s pretty unlikely that anyone is going to go out and buy the whole 100 so what are the pick of the bunch?

Whites under $20

Riesling continues to be the most undervalued and under-priced white wine available. Excellent Rieslings are being made in the west so our pick is the West Cape Howe Mount Barker Riesling. Of the Chardonnays our pick is the Petaluma White Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. Adelaide Hills is developing a strong reputation for good Chardonnay and Petaluma has long been a leading producer in this region. For Sauvignon Blanc our pick is the Mike Press, again from the Adelaide Hills. Mike Press has had lots of good write ups of late and is producing great wines.

Reds under $20

It’s hard to make good Pinot Noir under $20, so of Halliday’s picks we would go for the Hoddles Creek Estate from the Yarra Valley. A highly rated Pinot for a good price. Among the Shiraz our pick is the Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run from the Clare Valley. Clare Valley Shiraz tends to be over shadowed by the Barossa Valley and doesn’t get the same attention. It’s a little lighter and more fruit flavoured than a traditional Barossa Shiraz. Among the Cabernets we have two picks, the Brookland Valley Verse 1 and Teusner The Gentleman from the Eden Valley. Brookland Valley has been making good wine in the west for many years. Verse 1 is their second label and is always good value for money. Teusner’s reputation just goes from strength to strength and this Cabernet is good value for money. If you want something a little different try the Ferngrove Malbec from Frankland River. Malbec is often used as part of a Cabernet blend, but is developing quite a reputation as a single variety wine.

Whites over $20

Jeffrey Grosset is rightly renowned as Australia’s best Riesling maker so you can’t go past his Polish Hill Clare Valley Riesling. Australia’s most expensive and best Riesling. Brokenwood's ILR Semillon is something they are famous for and rightly so. Probably Australia’s best Semillon. As to Chardonnay there is a trio of great Chardonnay from Margaret River; Vasse Felix Heytesbury, Leeuwin Estate and Cullen. They are all truly great Chardonnay’s and it really come s down to how much you want to spend. Whichever you choose you won’t be disappointed.

Reds over $20

Our pick of the Pinot’s is the Oakridge 864 Single Block. An outstanding Pinot at a reasonable price. For a Shiraz the Henschke Mount Edelstone is a standout. A great wine from a great year. More subtle, refined and elegant than a Barossa Shiraz. For a great Cabernet it’s hard to split the Margaret River twins, Moss Wood and Cullen. Both great examples of Cabernet from the west, and at reasonable prices.

Sparkling and Champagne

In this group it pretty much is down to how much you want to spend. The Seppelt Salinger is an excellent Australian sparkling at a good price. There has to be a sparkling red in any Australian line up so the Charles Melton Sparkling Red is a must. If you like Blanc de Blancs, the Pol Roger is very good value. And if you really want to celebrate then it has to be Krug. Expensive, but exceptionally good Champagne, it doesn’t get much better than this.