2023 Varietal Winners

Top Rated: Cabernet Sauvignon

By The Tasting Team

The distinguished cabernet sauvignon and its blends rank second only to shiraz as Australia’s top-performing variety this year. Flying solo, the dominance of Margaret River is complete, claiming more than half of the coveted positions in our best-of line up.

Second and third places rightly go to Coonawarra and Yarra Valley respectively, albeit both well behind Margaret River in sheer numbers. Hence it was an unexpected and refreshing outcome that the three contenders to come forward in our final judging would hail from Langhorne Creek, Pyrenees and the Yarra Valley. Even more surprising that the single Langhorne Creek listing in our top 28 should rise all the way to the top. No surprise at all for anyone who’s avidly following the rise and rise of 2018 Winemaker of the Year Paul Hotker at Bleasdale

2023 Best Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year in Australia

Bleasdale Vineyards The Iron Duke Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Langhorne Creek

98 points | Price when tasted $79

2020 Bleasdale Vineyards The Iron Duke Cabernet Sauvignon, Langhorne Creek

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A best-barrel selection, and oh my, it's a beautifully structured and textured cabernet sauvignon akin to those of Wynns Coonawarra Estate, which also explores 13.5% alc. Here cassis has the purity and sparkle of wine which you could drink tonight or in 30 years time. – James Halliday

The 2023 Halliday Wine Companion is available now. Secure your copy of Australia's most comprehensive wine guide here – and at all good bookstores.

Learn more about cabernet sauvignon in our essential guide.

*This is an edited extract from the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion, with reviews by Dave Brookes, Jane Faulkner, Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday, Erin Larkin, Jeni Port, Philip Rich and chief editor Tyson Stelzer.

Top image credit: Wine Australia.