2023 Varietal Winners

Top Rated: Fortified

By The Tasting Team
Again this year, Rutherglen muscat and topaque/muscadelle rightfully dominate our best-of line-up, declaring an extraordinary age, status and distinction that rank them as truly unique in the world. But when it comes to one fortified to rule them all and in the darkness bind them, Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old conquered All Saints Estate Museum Muscat in our final show-down. It has no contender anywhere on earth.

2023 Best Fortified Wine of the Year in Australia

Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny 1922, Barossa Valley

100 points | Price when tasted $1500


Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny 1922, Barossa Valley


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There's no surprise that this release easily lives up to its rare 100-point rating. The heady bouquet (as usual) is followed by a palate of pure joy; as it enters the mouth, the viscous big bass drum beats with every known spice, and every known preserved and dried fruit. Then the finish has the acidity to provide balance, but the sometimes searing spear of volatile acidity doesn't heat the aftertaste. In the world of wine, no other winery makes a vintage-dated 100yo release of truly extraordinary complexity. – James Halliday

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*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.