2023 Varietal Winners

Top Rated: Cabernet and Family

By The Tasting Team

Cabernet and family embraces cabernet-dominant blends as well as other Bordeaux varieties and their blends. Again this year, Margaret River is all over this class, putting forward almost as many highlights as every other region put together. In our Awards judging, Cullen's Diana Madeline and Mount Mary's Quintet sprinted into a strong lead, with very little between them. Mount Mary took the prize on a count of first place votes.

2023 Cabernet and Family of the Year

Mount Mary Quintet 2020, Yarra Valley

98 points | Price when tasted $165

2020 Mount Mary Quintet, Yarra Valley

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From the plainly named Justin vineyard. A mellow, medium- to fuller-weight expression rippling with choc-raspberry, forest berry coulis, clove, dark chocolate, mint and eucalyptus. All nicely played, balanced and even. A potent flow on the palate, so inky and rich, and a chewy corset of silty, crushed rock tannins. It's a bold strike of cab malbec but finds judicious balance and a sense of vibrancy. It speaks fluently of quality fruit and the finesse of winemaking. – Mike Bennie

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This is an edited extract from the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion, with reviews by James Halliday, Campbell Mattinson, Dave Brookes, Jane Faulkner, Jeni Port, Mike Bennie, Ned Goodwin MW, Philip Rich and Shanteh Wale. Cover art by Ka Mo.

*Panel decision – score awarded by the Halliday Tasting Team at the annual Awards judging.