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James Halliday Top 100 for 2018

November 20, 2018 11 min read

James Halliday Top 100 for 2018

Hi Folks, It's the most anticipated "Best of Year" wine list in Australia and it was released last Saturday. This year there were over 1,000 wines submitted for the James Halliday Top 100 selection and of course, 100 were selected.  As we do, Cloudwine has picked the eyes out of the list, selected 6 different wines and bundled them into a 6-pack for $125.  You'll be pleased to know you can buy some of the wines individually as well. Some wines are so limited, they're not available for individual sale, just in the 6-pack.
You won't find a better 6-pack in Australia at this price!  Wines included are:
Shingleback Local Heroes McLaren Vale Shiraz Grenache 2016
96 Points & Special Value Star.Top 100 Wines of the Year 2018. James Halliday
Robert Oatley Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
95 Points & Special Value Star.Top 100 Wines of the Year 2018. James Halliday
Xanadu Exmoor Margaret River Chardonnay 2017
93 Points & Special Value Star.Top 100 Wines of the Year 2018. James Halliday
Balnaves of Coonawarra The Blend 2015
94 Points & Special Value Star.Top 100 Wines of the Year 2018. James Halliday
Bests Great Western Riesling 2018
96 Points & Special Value Star.Top 100 Wines of the Year 2018. James Halliday
Paxton McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
94 Points & Special Value Star.Top 100 Wines of the Year 2018. James Halliday

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Best Pinot Noir in Australia
Australian Pinot Noir Challenge 2018

Handpicked Mornington Peninsula
Collection Pinot Noir 2017

Handpicked Mornington Peninsula Collection Pinot Noir 2017 has been named the Best Pinot Noir in Australia at the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge 2018.  This is Australia's only show dedicated to Pinot Noir and it was awarded 97 points by judges, beating more than 250 pinot noirs, all from Australia.  There were many fancy, higher priced wines in the show, but it's always good when an independent winery wins such awards.

The winemaker behind the wine is Gary Baldwin, a colossus of the industry.Wineries such as Dalwhinnie, Stoniers, Devil’s Lair, Voyager,  Brookland Valley, Lenton Brae and Freycinet use Gary to improve their own wine.  But this Handpicked Pinot Noir has trumped them all and more.  It's from a collection of vineyards in Mornington, but with access to just 18H of vines, there's always going to be a tiny amount available.

This is a pinot noir for pinot devotees; it's full of soft red fruits, has a luscious mid palate with ever so elegant tannins.

What I also like is the price - $46.99.  Despite winning Best Pinot Noir in Australia at Australia's only Pinot Noir Show,  Handpicked Mornington Peninsula Collection Pinot Noir 2017 is keeping their wine affordable and that should be applauded. If you want to drink the pinot noir voted the best in Australia, you can by clicking that buy now button below.


Our new and improved French Rose 6-pack is now ready to purchase for the Summer season!  For our many customers that previously purchased this six pack, you'll be excited to know this new 6-pack includes a mixture of new wines as well as some old favourites.  For new customers to Rose, then please consider just as Champagne is considered to be the pinnacle of sparkling in terms of quality and style, so too is Rose from France.  If you have only ever sampled Australian Rose, then you will be blown away by the contrasting style of Rose from France.

Our 6-pack today is still a one of a kind in Australia and at $129, is priced to sell like hot cakes.

Yangarra McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 
"Just another $30 McLaren Vale shiraz? Absolutely not. This is profoundly exciting, another masterpiece..." James Halliday, Wine Companion: 97 points, Special Value

"You could pay double the dollars and get less wine. A winner... 10/10 value."  Andrew Graham.  Oz Wine Review.
Astounding to think this is the ‘entry level’ Yangarra Shiraz. Pete ‘Midas’ Fraser is all over it.  Wild ferment and matured in 25% new oak, it’s a plush and perfectly weighted wine. Plump, chocolate-gilt dark fruits, the palate sitting in between medium and full bodied, the generosity of concentrated plush flavour offset by tannins that have a deep grip. A fine, throaty grip, that suggests more whole bunches than just 10%. Otherwise, a little alcohol warmth, but that is about the only quibble.  You could pay double the dollars and get less wine. A winner... 10/10 value." -Andrew Graham.  Oz Wine Review

"50% whole berries, 50% destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, matured for 10 months in used French oak. Just another $30 McLaren Vale shiraz? Absolutely not. This is profoundly exciting, another masterpiece from Peter Fraser, Wine Companion Winemaker of the Year '16. It's not often I'm tempted to sneakily swallow half a mouthful of a wine, it's almost as if an unseen force refuses to let me actually drink a little. The wine is spicy, textured, with a rainbow of dark fruit flavours - bloody gorgeous." James Halliday, Wine Companion: 97 points, Special Value

"That beautiful sweet fruit. That texture like silk. That perfect integration of plum-shot fruit and posh, cedar-like oak. It smells, taste and feels pure, fine-grained and terrific, every step of the way." Campbell Mattinson.The Wine Front.

Mr Mick Novo Sangiovese Malbec 2016

'It's chewy. It's refreshing. It's savoury. It's Clare Valley Chianti, of its own design.'  90 Points  Campbell Mattinson

"Everyday value wines are mostly the domain of the large producers. However, there are many serious winemakers now playing with fun and funky styles - this Novo from Tim Adams is a perfect example. It's a canny blend of sprightly sangiovese with a smidgen of malbec adding structure and an earthy edge. The flavours live up to the Novo name, bright red berry fruits with acid playing an equal role to the mild-mannered tannins. Worthy of a light chill on a warm day"  Mike Bennie, Best Buy Wines $20 And Under, Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine, June/ July 2018.

'It's incredibly light, both in colour and flavour, but there's a seriousness to the tannin and it has plenty of well-defined length. It's chewy. It's refreshing. It's savoury. It's Clare Valley Chianti, of its own design.' Campbell Mattinson.  The Winefront.  90 Points - Campbell Mattinson
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2017
 Nick Stock - "One of the greatest vintages of this wine."

Campbell Mattinson - "Australian Grand Cru Shiraz."

Tyson Stelzer -  "It's set to go down as a long-lived Clonakilla"

One of the greatest vintages of this wine. It has a super complex array of white and black peppers, hard brown spices, leaves, flowers and fresh wet earth, as well as graphite-like dark stony notes.

The palate is immaculately detailed, long and silky with flavors of blackberries, red cherries, red plums, dark cherries, blackberries and dark chocolate.  The palate is delivered with steady elegance and power, showing unwavering build and a seemingly never-ending trail of fresh and spicy fruit flavors. With the most immaculate tannins, too.  The real soul of this wine shines through in this perfectly simpatico vintage. Fascinating to drink now, but it is best to give it some time. Try around 2025.  Nick Stock -

Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier. Australian Grand Cru Shiraz.  It has both lightness and power; it has wooden racks of spice set into deep cupboards of black cherry; it has anise; it has forest berries, it has florals and it has meat, though all of it sits in the one, neat, tidy room. Tannin is so fine and so bright with spice that it sits like gold thread in an evening gown. It’s a wine of shadows and a wine of light; of shadow and of joy. Pour a glass and behold its beauty, for it is rich in that. Rating: 96. Campbell Mattinson.  The Winefront.

A gloriously fragrant and elegant Clonakilla is the blessing of a classic cool year, brimming with rose petal and pot pourri. A delightful core of morello cherry and wild strawberry fruit glides seamlessly through a lingering trail of powder-fine tannins. It's set to go down as a long-lived Clonakilla.  Rating: 96 points.  Tyson Stelzer

Rieslingfreak No 4 Eden Valley Riesling 2018

Trophy Winner – Best Riesling 2018 - Barossa Valley Wine Show 2018

97 Points - Barossa Valley Wine Show 2018

Eden Valley was a great surprise in 2018. Normally harvested three weeks after the Clare Vineyards, the Eden Valley vineyard was harvested one day before Clare. With the fruit flavours and acid balance present in the fruit, there was no reason to leave the berries on the vine. A fine, elegant and very balanced wine, with all the hallmark Eden Valley brown citrus and sweet spice.
WAS $24.75 NOW $16.95!

Beach Road Fiano 2015

The Equal Highest-rated ever Australian Fiano by James Halliday!

Fiano's capacity for a generous viscosity, plying the gums with textural intrigue, along with natural acid retention, even in a warm climate, is on full display. This is not to say that the acidity is shrill. Far from it. White flowers and a potpourri of herbs, driven by a whiff of pungent fennel, drive the aromatic spectrum. Bitter almond and apricot ensue. A jangle of solidly mineral melded to juicy acidity keep the wine purring along.  95 points.  James Halliday

Sanguine Progeny Heathcote Shiraz 2017 

Trophy -Best Shiraz       
Trophy -Best Wine Grown and Made in Heathcote  
Trophy -Best Young Shiraz  
Trophy -Best Single Vineyard Wine

What I also really like about this wine is its pedigree.  It's sourced from Heathcote, the best region for shiraz in Victoria, where the likes of Wild Duck Creek and Jasper Hill will ask you for $100 for one of their top wines.  It's also got consistency, this 2017 was no fluke - the 2012 won Best shriaz at the inaugural Heathcote Wine Show and sent the wine critics into a spin.  Checkout what Winewise had to say about this wine after one of its Championship tastings:

"Given the record of this label in Winewise tastings, it has to be one of the best value wines in the country."

There were over 140 Shiraz entered in the show and we'll avoid advertising the likes of whom this wine out-performed in order to receive these awards, however we will talk about price because it's rare to see a Heathcote shiraz priced under $25, but this Sanguine smashes the idea that good Heathcote shiraz needs to be expensive.  As Winewise has said, this has to be one of the best value wines in the country.  Big, rich, juicy and bold, that's the style;  it's outdone the big names and Cloudwine has the killer price of $22.50 a bottle.  Buy a dozen and we'll deliver it anywhere in Australia freight free.

Sanguine Estate Heathcote Shiraz 2013 is $22.50 - click here to buy online

Castelli The Sum Riesling 2017
95 points Halliday  - $15.90 - Fantastic Value

"95 Points. Has a little more colour than some, but no cause for concern. This is a high quality riesling, with a floral/blossom bouquet, and a collage of lime and lemon fruit on the palate. The X-factor derives from its tactile qualities that come through clearly on the back-palate and lingering aftertaste, the intensity of the flavours running all the way through to the finish. Drink by: 2030 Date tasted: 11/Sep/2017 Price: $19.00 Alcohol: 12.1%" - James Halliday,

Halliday talks about having an X-Factor, what I'll say is that this wine is worth more than its asking price.  You could pay $25 and wouldn't blink an eye.  Prepare for Summer and buy a dozen. It won't disappoint.

Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Chardonnay 2017
"it’s a treat to drink. A beautiful, beautiful wine"  Campbell Mattinson

"There’s a lot to admire with Hoddles Creek Estate and the decision to employ no new oak on the grapes destined for this 1er release is one of them.

This is swish. Straw-yellow in colour, stone fruit riddled, shy on the nose but textural and alive on the palate. A gentle creaminess, spice notes, slate even, honeysuckle and toast. Extremely pure. Flowing robes of flavour. Grapefruit-like bite to the aftertaste, as a distinct positive. It’s still gathering itself but already it’s a treat to drink. A beautiful, beautiful wine.  Rated : 95 Points". Campbell Mattinson.
Turkey Flat Barossa Shiraz 2016

"98 points - " as underpriced as it is a beautifully crafted wine "  James Halliday

From vines dating back to 1847, hand-picked, open-fermented with 10% whole bunches, matured in French oak (40% new) for 18 months. The price of this classic estate-grown wine has been increased, but not by much, leaving this as underpriced as it is a beautifully crafted wine with a history all of its own. It has power and presence, and above all a purity of taste and structure. The black fruits have waves and crosscurrents of flavour and texture, the finish long and balanced."  98 points - James Halliday
Torzi Matthews Frost Dodger Riesling 2018 

"It’s always a good wine, but I feel 2018 is extra-good." 
 Gary Walsh

"It’s always a good wine, but I feel 2018 is extra-good. This sizzles, but it also has texture and complexity, not least given it’s such a young wine. White flowers and fresh squeezed lime, spice, a touch of savoury complexity, flint and crushed stones, pure acidity and coursing length, a lovely quinine-like bite in the aftertaste. It’s so pure, but has an extra dimension of interest, and early drinkability. Fantastic. A toss up between 95 and 96 points. Rated: 95 Points Tasted: Aug18 Alcohol: 12.5% Price: $25 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2018 - 2038" - Gary Walsh, The Wine Front.
Teusner Avatar Grenache Mataro Shiraz 2015

"a complete, compelling wine - GMS at its best....Glorious" 96 Points. Jane Faulkner

No doubt about, this is a benchmark example of Grenache, Mataro and Shiraz.  And when you consider the vine age of the Grenache and Mataro vines are nudging 100 years old, Avatar is probably one of the best value GMS blends not only in Australia, but internationally.  You will never find a French blend like this with 100 year old vines for sub $30.  The 2014 was great, the 2015 vintage is sensational. 

"96 Points. The trio of great Barossa reds (grenache 55%, mataro 25% and shiraz 25%) come together to spend 18 months in seasoned oak before unfurling into a complete, compelling wine - GMS at its best. Light on its feet, with svelte tannins, plenty of substance and depth, though with buoyant flavours of cherries and raspberries, pips and spice, prosciutto and pepper. Glorious. Screwcap. 14.5% alc. To 2028. $45"  Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion 2019.


Flametree Margaret River Chardonnay 2016

"It's delicious and fascinating without being overpowering" Huon Hooke

"This is a chardonnay you just want to drink and drink."  Campbell Mattinson

"95 Points. Not Flametree's top Chardonnay, but there wouldn't be many complaints if it was. Lightly toasted almond aromas of complexity and charm; the palate is delicate and refined, tautly composed and intense. It's delicious and fascinating without being overpowering. $29"  Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine

"Margaret River chardonnay, taking complexity in its stride. That sling of grapefruit, pepped up with stonefruit, fennel and citrus. It’s a killer combination. There’s oak here, and a whisper of reduction, but both are so well played that you barely notice them; they’re like edible wrappers to the real-deal fruit. This is a chardonnay you just want to drink and drink. Not overly intense but it doesn’t need to be. Rated: 91 Points Tasted: May17 Alcohol: 13% Price: $27 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2017 - 2021"  Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front

Naked Run The First Clare Valley Riesling 2017

"Flat out delicious. Clare Valley Riesling fanciers should be all over this."  Gary Walsh
An excellent reserved style of riesling, which should age superbly” 
95 Points & 5 Stars Huon Hooke

This is Steve Baraglia’s bit on the side, from his vineyard in Sevenhill. He makes wines at Pikes by day.  Juiciness, but some softness here too, with a pure feel and that freshly squeezed citrus really makes the mouth water. It has length, and a touch of perfume to close. Flat out delicious. Clare Valley Riesling fanciers should be all over this.Rated : 95 Points. Drink : 2018 - 2028+.  Gary Walsh.  The Wine Front.

“Very light colour, with dusty mineral, dried herb and subtle lemon aromas, the palate crisp and lean, lively and dry, refreshing and light. A wine of real refinement albeit on the leaner side. But it has length. An excellent reserved style of riesling, which should age superbly” 95 Points & 5 Stars Huon Hooke

Naked Run The First Clare Valley Riesling 2017 is $19.99 - click here to buy online

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