After more than 1200 wines and two years, the 100th edition of Wine Taste Weekly represents an opportune time to honour those estates that have performed at the very highest level. Announcing the inaugural Wine Taste Weekly Hall of Honour.
Narrowing down my wineries of the year was no trite operation. Every one of the more than 400 estates featured in Wine Taste Weekly already represents the very best of the best of my weekly tastings, and each deserves recognition.
Inclusion in my Hall of Honour requires at least seven benchmark wines across 100 editions of Wine Taste Weekly, averaging a score of at least 94 points (a gold medal in a wine show). This system is fair and inclusive of both large and small producers (and at least one estate has qualified with just four wines over two vintages). For estates representing particularly good value for money (with strong representation of wines under $25) I’ve relaxed the scoring criterion, and highlighted these estates as representing ‘value’ in the Hall of Honour below.
The result is a hotlist of the finest thirty-five estates in Australia and New Zealand right now. Be sure to raise a glass from at least one of these legendary names this festive season. Wishing you a truly blessed Christmas,
The Wine Taste Weekly Australian winery of the year is Penfolds
The runners-up are Cape Mentelle, Tyrrell’s, Vasse Felix and Xanadu
Since the early days of Max Schubert himself, there has never been a more exciting time of experimentation at Penfolds than we are privileged to witness right now. Penfolds has had more than forty wines short-listed for inclusion in Wine Taste Weekly over the past 100 editions and no other estate has hit the mesosphere more often. Line ‘em up: 99 points (twice), 98 points (once), 97 points (an unprecedented six times) and 96 points (seven times). White, red and fortified wines are all represented at 97 or more points, making this not only the most outstanding producer but also one of the most versatile.
The Wine Taste Weekly Australian small winery of the year is Grosset
The runners-up are Oakridge, Primo Estate and Wines by KT
Every label that Jeff Grosset creates has appeared in Wine Taste Weekly, and there are exceedingly few estates of which this can be said. As a result, Grosset should be disadvantaged in the calculation of averages to determine this award. Quite the contrary: his fourteen wines featured have averaged the highest score of any Australian estate in the Wine Taste Weekly Hall of Honour. Across seven varieties and two regions, no wine has scored less than 93 points, four have scored 96 and one legendary 98.
The Wine Taste Weekly New Zealand winery of the year is Felton Road
The runners-up are Auburn and Dog Point
Felton Road has featured nine times in Wine Taste Weekly, with riesling, chardonnay and pinot noir scoring between 94 and 96 points. All three varieties have put forward a 96 pointer, giving this estate the highest overall average score of any winery in the Wine Taste Weekly Hall of Honour.
The Wine Taste Weekly value for money winery of the year is Mike Press Wines
The runners-up are Armchair Critic and Fox Gordon
Mike Press Wines blows all else out of the water when it comes to value this year, with an average price of well under $13, a full $5 less than any other estate in the Wine Taste Weekly Hall of Honour. Order direct and you’ll pay even less. Nine wines take the credit for this result, spanning seven varieties from this sensational single vineyard high in the Adelaide Hills.
The Wine Taste Weekly Hall of Honour
The Armchair Critic – value
De Bortoli – value
Fox Gordon – value
Jacob’s Creek – value
Mike Press – value
O’Leary Walker – value
Wines by KT
Wynns Coonawarra Estate
Yalumba – value
To read full reviews of all the wines that produced these results, visit the online index of Wine Taste Weekly at http://tysonstelzer.com/?s=.