Wine Lists

Wines from the 2025 Best Value Winery finalists

By Halliday Promotion

10 Jul, 2024

At Wine Companion, we're all about making sure you never drink a bad bottle of wine again, and that includes getting great value for money. If you're not sure where to begin, start with these expressions from three of our 2025 Best Value Winery finalists: De Bortoli Yarra Valley, Forest Hill Vineyard and Trentham Estate. 

As Campbell Mattinson so aptly puts it, "value never goes out of fashion, but it is particularly important right now." As such, we're presenting to you three great-value wines from three of the finalists shortlisted for 2025 Best Value Winery. Priced at $24.95, $35 and $18 respectively, these wines prove that you don't need to spend a fortune for a delicious drop.

Including pinot noirs from De Bortoli Yarra Valley and Trentham Estate, and a cabernet sauvignon from Forest Hill Vineyard, we found out the perfect food-pairing for each wine. Plus, we spoke to the three finalists about what value means to them, their winemaking process, and how it feels to be shortlisted for the 2025 Best Value Winery award.

So, say cheers to great value for money with these three wines!

De Bortoli bottleshot

2023 De Bortoli Yarra Valley The Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

Expressive, high-end Yarra Valley pinot noir. Red and dark fruits, intense bright flavours, gentle and opulent with a silky texture. 

De Bortoli Yarra Valley estate manager Leanne De Bortoli says: The De Bortoli family own three unique vineyard sites in different parts of the Yarra Valley. The winery vineyard at Dixons Creek, home to the winery, cellar door and restaurant, is in the Northern section of the Yarra Valley. The Abbey Vineyard at Tarrawarra is in the centre of the region and the acclaimed Lusatia Park vineyard at Woori Yallock in the upper reaches of the Yarra River. These all play an important part in the sourcing of grapes for our Estate Vineyard Range, which includes pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot noir, gamay, shiraz and cabernet. 

H. What does value mean to you?
LDB. At De Bortoli Wines, value means exceeding expectations in every wine we make. We start with the vineyard, focusing on sustainable viticultural practices all the way through to innovation in the winery to consistently produce high-quality wines. By maintaining these standards, we feel we are giving customers wines that are delicious but affordable.

H. How do you approach the winemaking process?
LDB. When it comes to the Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, each small parcel is fermented separately, some with whole bunch inclusion. It then undergoes 15–18 days of maceration and fermentation with wild yeast before being pressed, settled overnight and then filled to barrel by gravity. Allowed to mature for six months in new and used 225L and 500L French casks. 

H. How does it feel to be shortlisted for 2025 Best Value Winery?
LDB. Being shortlisted for the 2025 Best Value Winery is a moment of pride for all of us here at De Bortoli Yarra Valley. It's a recognition of our desire to make wines that not only showcase the unique character of the Yarra Valley but also the quality and value that our wines offer. We are grateful for this acknowledgment.

Best enjoyed: Pair with cassoulet with duck and pork sausage. 

RRP $24.95 | Drink to 2029 | | Shop this wine

Forest Hill bottleshot

2021 Forest Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Sourced from mostly 1975 plantings of cabernet sauvignon, the wine has fruits of the forest aromas along with lavender and bay. Supple but concentrated palate with dark chocolate, black berries and spice. Lovely fine tannin line frames the palate.

General manager and winemaker Guy Lyons says: Forest Hill Vineyard is in the Mount Barker sub-region of the remote Great Southern. The vineyard was established in 1965, the first in the south-west, with dry grown plantings of riesling and cabernet sauvignon. Since this time, more vines have been planted across the farm, including chardonnay, malbec and shiraz. We are now farming organically and planting new sites, clones and varieties. We love making wines from our farm and think our vineyard grows wines with lots of character, longevity and drinkability.

H. What does value mean to you?
GL. I think value means you are consistently creating wines that are delicious, interesting, and accessible. For us, it is about being able to showcase some of our old sites across our range of wines.

H. How do you approach the winemaking process?
GL. Our winemaking style is vineyard driven; we are fortunate to have a vineyard with old vines which are really deep-rooted and on great dirt. Then, in the winery, we try to keep things simple and focused on attention to detail. Small batch, hands-off, traditional winemaking with some modern equipment.

H. How does it feel to be shortlisted for 2025 Best Value Winery?
GL. It’s fantastic to be shortlisted and receive recognition for the hard work our team puts in to producing great wines across our range. 

Best enjoyed: Pair with spiced lamb with yogurt and couscous.

RRP $35 | Drink to 2030 | | Shop this wine

Trentham Estate bottleshot

2022 Trentham Estate Pinot Noir

Sweet plum and cherry spice aromas; red berry fruits carry to the palate with some very subtle spicy French oak, finishing with soft, chalky tannins.

Winemaker Anthony Murphy says: We began making wine under the Trentham Estate label in 1984 from a small parcel of six tonnes of grapes, and the business began to grow particularly after we opened our riverfront cellar door and restaurant in 1988. 40 years on we produce over 20 different varietals and styles across several ranges.

The majority of fruit used to produce our wines is from our own Murphy Vineyards adjacent to the Estate, which was established by our family in the 1960s. The 46 hectares sit on a winding riverbank, and the ideal terroir of red loam over limestone soils combined with nurturing water from the Murray River allows the vines to flourish in the warm climate. Further fruit is sourced from a number of long-term, high-quality local growers. 

H. What does value mean to you?
AM. Our strong focus on quality, affordability, flavour and palatability has consistently driven us to over-deliver on price. Consistency has also been very important as customers become familiar with our wines and what to expect from each range. As a relatively small, family-owned business we are able to have greater control over some factors associated with production. For example we have the ability to source the best fruit in the district from quality vineyards and growers. 

H. How do you approach the winemaking process?
AM. Trentham Estate has always strived for good varietal and regional characteristics in its wines. Producing the best quality grapes we can and not necessarily higher yields is key, as well as growing varieties that are best suited to our climate and therefore offering a wine true to style once ready to drink. Many of our wines are fruit driven, approachable, and made to be enjoyed while young and fresh. We believe a consistent approach to winemaking style for each variety from vintage to vintage is incredibly important, too. 

H. How does it feel to be shortlisted for 2025 Best Value Winery?
AM. This nomination was quite a surprise and honestly is a real thrill, particularly for this category, as we feel providing great value is an attribute we’ve always concentrated on and is a point that has attracted many wine lovers to our products. It’s a credit to our whole team, which is small but highly efficient, and their hard work and dedication in all areas of producing our quality wines. 

Best enjoyed: Pair with fresh ragout and pasta, any duck dish, or a mushroom risotto finished with truffle. 

RRP $18 | Drink to 2027 | | Shop this wine

Image credit: De Bortoli Yarra Valley.