Wine Lists

Top Wines to Try

By Halliday Promotion

3 Dec, 2021

Indulge in these top value, silver-scoring wines at your next long lunch or celebration this festive season. 

If you're looking for an affordable wine but not willing to compromise on value, we've crafted a list of our top picks that have reached a highly recommended or outstanding silver medal rating (90+ points)! The following wines demonstrate great quality, style and character – worthy of a spot in anyone's cellar.


2021 Bellarmine Riesling

Emanating lifted white blossom, lemon zest, lime sherbet and subtle green apple. A palate that’s pure and delicate citrus with lively chalky linear acidity, ending with a crisp, clean finish. Pairs nicely with a variety of seafood, spicy Asian cuisine, blue cheese, goat’s cheese and pork belly. 

Halliday tasting note: "Fruit from a single vineyard of 20+yo vines. Fermented in stainless steel. More powerful than it initially appears – the acidity really is the engine room in this cool vintage." – Erin Larkin.

Pemberton, WA | RRP $27 | Drink to 2033 | Find out more.


2020 Rosabrook “Lamarque” Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

Embodying citrus, grassy, gooseberry, flinty notes with a light French oak character. There is also a saline acid thread woven throughout all aspects of the fruit. Aromatic, with a textured palate and a crisp fine acid finish. 

Halliday tasting note: "20% fermented in seasoned French oak barrels on full solids; 20% fermented in stainless steel with light solids, on fine lees for 8 months; 60% cool-fermented in stainless steel. If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting winemaker Severine Logan, you will encounter a feisty, uncompromising and whipcrack smart French woman – her way is evident in this wine." – Erin Larkin.

Margaret River, WA | RRP $28 | Drink to 2024 | Find out more.


2021 Nikola Estate Regional Rose

This pure and plump wine celebrates flavours typical to the region, dominated by cherry, pomegranate, finely ground pepper, fennel flower and red apples. There is a spice character as well, hinting at star anise or za’atar through the finish. 

Halliday tasting note: "100% tempranillo from the Ferguson Valley in Geographe. Three hours of skin contact, fermented and matured in stainless steel for freshness. 2021 was a varied vintage in WA – Geographe experienced a cool, good-quality vintage, evident in this wine." – Erin Larkin.

Geographe, WA | RRP $30 | Drink to 2024 | Find out more.


2021 O'Leary Walker Watervale Riesling

Offering a quintessential citrus with hints of wild fennel spice palate and an intense lime and lemon verbena bouquet. Its electric acid line works alongside its purity of fruit and balance, with a long persistent finish. Pairs nicely with seafood. 

Halliday tasting note: "A long, cool ferment over 2 weeks. This is awesome. Such density of flavour on the palate; mouth-coating intensity – it's almost painful." – Erin Larkin.

Clare Valley, SA | RRP $25 | Drink to 2031 | Find out more.


2020 Balgownie Estate Viognier

A balanced viognier with a citrus, orange blossom, white peach and apricot skin nose. Showcasing flavours of apricot stone fruit, cashew nut and a small herbaceous influence. A bright and natural acidity, levelled with ripe powdery tannins with along, persistent finish. Depth in the mid-palate. Enjoy with roasted, free range chicken. 

Halliday tasting note: "Hand-picked fruit, lightly crushed to vats, 48 hours' cold soak, pressed to mainly older barriques, wild-yeast fermentation, minimal sulphur, aged on lees for 10 months, lightly fined. Allows viognier some free expression, without heading into the grape's rich, unctuous side. Balance is the key here." – Jeni Port.

Bendigo, VIC | RRP $35 | Drink to 2026 | Find out more.


2021 Aphelion Wines Welkin Nero d'Avola

Pure fruited aromas of red current and spicy plum through the palate with fresh acidity. This lively and vibrant wine has a slight rasp of powdery tannin and a herbaceous element, offering a good palate length. The bright, juicy red berry characters are soft yet supportive of the tannins, providing a good structure and mouthfeel.

Halliday tasting note: "Damn, this is delicious! A perfect poise between an early acid-driven harvest window and a juicy succulence. Drink in very large drafts!" – Ned Goodwin MW

McLaren Vale, SA | RRP $28 | Drink to 2025 | Find out more.


2020 Chapel Hill 'Small Batch #01' Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre

The three quintessential McLaren Vale varieties meld together, crafting a wine with balance and a textured mouthfeel. Enjoy flavours of kirsch, bergamot, violet, tapenade, anise, clove and white pepper. Finishes nicely with a fine tannic exactitude and good salty length.

Halliday tasting note: "An experimental range for the cellar door. The typical Southern Rhône blend, albeit, with a bit more twine, spice and savoury fruit than the typical Australian rendition." – Ned Goodwin MW.

McLaren Vale, SA | RRP $28 | Drink to 2024 | Find out more. 


2016 Topper's Mountain Nebbiolo

Celebrating flavours of cherry, currants, and cranberries as well as liquorice, black pepper with a hint of earthiness. A nose of tar, rose hips, sour cherries, dark cherries, liquorice, and lots of flint. Although it has a strong backbone of high acidity and smooth tannins, it has a juicy and fresh palate. A long and tight finish. Pairs nicely with truffles, stews, lamb of any kind and beef with mushroom sauce.

Halliday tasting note: "I have followed the evolution of this cuvée for a time, enjoying the small shifts in style and most of all, the better tannin management and concentration that seem to have come with lower yields and better vineyard supervision. A bit hot, but make no mistake: it IS inimitably nebbiolo. Good nebbiolo, too." – Ned Goodwin MW.

New England, NSW | RRP $45 | Drink to 2026 | Find out more. 

*This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with the featured wineries.

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