On sheer weight of top-scoring wines, shiraz again surpasses all others as Australia’s leading variety. But for its prolific plantings across every region in the country, it is telling that our 40 highlights hail from just 16 regions. Of 13 hopefuls in our final Awards judging, the top six places contrasted the might of the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Eden Valley with the restraint of the cool reaches of Canberra, Beechworth and Perth Hills, testimony to the vast diversity of this chameleon variety. It’s exciting to see Perth Hills ascend among the greats to top this coveted list.
2023 Shiraz of the Year
96 points | Price when tasted $40
The power of suggestion is strong – this is granitic, mineral, shaley and cooling. The fruit is pungently inky and intense, speaking of mulberries, raspberries, blood plums and vanilla pod. The tannins are like fine-grit sandpaper, they shape and impact the voluminous fruit and keep it all hemmed in. This is bloody and raw, like a mainline into the dirt. It’s wild…but it’s also compact, controlled, restrained, flowing and sleek. A svelte wine of circumstance and presence. – Erin Larkin
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Learn more about shiraz 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.