2023 Varietal Winners

Top Rated: Pinot Noir

By The Tasting Team

More than 50 pinot noirs rating 96 or more points is a grand statement in itself. That these hail from just 10 wine regions is a reflection of the narrow specificity of this variety. Most profound of all, almost three-quarters come from just three regions (half of these from the Yarra Valley, the balance Tasmania, followed by the Mornington Peninsula). The final judging came down to a two horse race, between Pooley's Jack Denis Pooley and relative newcomer, Lowestoft La Maison. Lowestoft’s win is a credit both to this historic vineyard in the Derwent Valley and to the new injection of life that it has received from the Fogarty Group.

2023 Best Pinot Noir of the Year in Australia

Lowestoft La Maison Pinot Noir 2020, Tasmania

96 points | Price when tasted $130

Lowestoft La Maison Pinot Noir 2020, Tasmania

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Up to 50% whole bunches; gentle hand plunging; matured 10 months in (25% new) large-format French oak. The 2020 vintage secures Lowestoft among Tasmania's A-league, but it's going to be a long time before the full magnificence of its flagship is realised. The coiled potential on display here is something to behold, with pristine and precise black and red cherry fruit intricately woven with the perfumed allure of whole bunches and the fine-grained framework of top-class French oak. Brilliant. – Tyson Stelzer

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Learn more about pinot noir 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.