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James Halliday Wine Companion Results

James Halliday Wine Companion Results


The James Halliday Wine Companion 2020 results are in and we're excited to share our achievements with you. 

For the fourth year in a row, Handpicked Wines have received a red five-star winery rating with multiple wines scoring 94 points or above. 

Limei and Jonathon Mattick


"Super pumped that the scores reflect the hard work being put into our key Pinot & Chardonnay vineyard sites. I am really excited by the continued evolution of these sites combined with this recognition of a focus on producing wines of the utmost quality!"

Peter Dillon, Handpicked Wine Director of Winemaking

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The 2020 James Halliday Scores

 To shop the wines, click here


2017 Wombat Creek Vineyard Yarra Valley Chardonnay - 96 Gold

Wombat Creek is the highest significant vineyard in the Upper Yarra, and is Handpicked's favourite when it comes to chardonnay. Fermentation takes place in French barriques. It has fabulous mouthfeel and crunchy white peach flavour throughout, the generous use of French oak standing aloof from the other Handpicked wines. Its length and tenacity are exceptional.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019

Collection Tasmania Pinot Noir - 96 Gold

From both sides of the Tamar Valley. An instantaneously appealing pinot of great purity and elegance. Red berry flavours come first, moving with ultimate ease across and along the palate. Everything has been done just so, not the least the oak and fine-spun tannins on the finish.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019 2017

Capella Vineyard Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir - 96 Gold

Estate-grown, hand-picked, open-fermented, hand-plunged, matured in French barriques (40% new) for 10 months. A highly fragrant bouquet full of red and purple fruits and a spicy carpet underfoot. It has impressive length and intensity, the oak and tannin contribution perfect.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019 

2017 Wombat Creek Vineyard Yarra Valley Pinot Noir-95 Gold

100% MV6 clone, attesting to the age of the vineyard when MV6 was clearly the best available, and has retained that status in most regions. Don't be deceived by the apparent lack of depth to the colour; this wine has all the drive of the '17 vintage, and more elegance than most.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019

2017 Collection Yarra Valley Pinot Noir - 95 Gold

Light, clear crimson; very elegant, light-bodied, gently spicy red berry fruits, cherry/strawberry, good length and balance. Simply relax with a glass in hand and you'll enjoy it more and more.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019 

2017 Collection Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay - 95 Gold

Bristling with the kind of brio that comes with a home ground advantage for the Mornington Peninsula winery, Handpicked knows its subject very well and delivers a chardonnay masterclass. Oak is perfectly in tune with superb white peach fruit and quince. A whiff of matchstick, smoke and toast and a general harmony and all-round balance.

Jeni Port - Published 01 August 2019 

2017 Barossa Valley Grenache - 95 Gold

Beautiful wine in anyone's language. It's flashed with fruit, ripped with spice and floral to boot. Fine-grained tannin, a sustained finish and a certain meatiness about the edges all add up to a wine of character and quality.

Campbell Mattinson - Published 01 August 2019

 2017 Capella Vineyard Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay - 94 Silver

A stylish wine, bright and crisp. May not have had the partial or whole mlf (that can soften the profile more than needed).

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019

2016 Regional Selections Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - 94 Silver

The youthful aromas are of warm, toasty oak, red winter berries with side lights of stewed rhubarb and dried herbs. Still with plenty in reserve, the palate is fine and taut in fruit development and structure. The linear winemaking approach will hold it in good stead over the next decade+.

Jeni Port - Published 01 August 2019 

2017 Collection Barossa Valley Shiraz - 94 points

The price tag announces a serious tilt at Barossa shiraz. Expectations rise and are met. Rather than predictable blockbuster material, the accent is on a more persuasive and gentle power employing heady, perfumed fruit of violets, blackberry, dark plum, spice. The palate is neat and trim, smooth, too, with elegant tannins.

Jeni Port - Published 01 August 2019 

2017 Collection Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir - 93 Silver

The wine is complex and endowed with the elegance and varietal purity typical of this great vintage, the only (faint) criticism is the lack of intensity and drive of the best from the vintage.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019 

2016 Regional Selections Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon - 93 Silver

Mild ripening conditions during the '16 vintage have contributed to a svelte and confident young cabernet. Coonawarra trademark blackberry fruit is ably supported by plum, violets, dried herbs and vanilla pod. Classy oak on the palate is balanced and smooth. Rose petal, licorice and a delicate leafiness lead to a satisfying finish.

Jeni Port - Published 01 August 2019 

2017 Regional Selections Yarra Valley Chardonnay - 92 Silver

Some colour development; a complex bouquet foretells a complex palate with pleasantly funky nuances adding to the twin pillars of citrus and stone fruit that make the way for most Yarra Valley chardonnays.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019 

2016 Collection Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay - 92 Silver

Fresh, lively and well balanced, the varietal expression fine and clear. All it needs is a bit more (rather than different) substance.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019 

2017 Regional Selections Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir - 90 Silver

The colour is starting to show development, and the wine seems to be close to its peak. The flavours are pretty, and clearly varietal (and regional). It's the X-factor that's missing.

James Halliday - Published 01 August 2019



To sample the wines for yourself stop by the Sydney Cellar Door or order online. You can also find us at select bottle shops, bars and restaurants across Australia. Send us an email to find out where!



2016 Chardonnay 'single vineyard' Wombat Creek | Yarra Valley - 96 Points

2016 Pinot Noir 'single vineyard' Capella | Mornington Peninsula - 96 Points 

2013 Shiraz NO.1 Numbered Series - 96 Points

2016 Pinot Noir 'single vineyard' Wombat Creek | Yarra Valley - 95 Points

2016 Grenache Collection Barossa Valley - 95 Points 

2016 Chardonnay Regional Selections Yarra Valley - 94 points

2016 Chardonnay 'single vineyard' Capella | Mornington Peninsula - 95 Points 

2016 Shiraz Collection Barossa Valley - 94 Points 



2015 Single Vineyard Chardonnay | Mornington Peninsula - 97 points 

2015 Collection Chardonnay | Mornington Peninsula - 94 points

2015 Collection Pinot Noir | Mornington Peninsula - 94 points

2016 Regional Selections Pinot Noir | Mornington Peninsula - 94 points

2015 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir | Yarra Valley - 96 points 

2014 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon | Yarra Valley - 95 points

2016 Regional Selections Rosé | Yarra Valley - 95 points 

2015 Single Vineyard Chardonnay | Yarra Valley - 95 Points

2015 Collection Chardonnay | Yarra Valley- 95 points 

2014 Handpicked Collection Shiraz | Barossa Valley - 95 points

2015 Handpicked Collection Pinot | Tasmania - 95 points



Generally, the most accurate method of judging a selection of wines is through a blind tasting and a 100 point rating system. Wines begin with a solid total of 100 points, with points removed for faults or shortcomings in components such as clarity and colour, the nose/bouquet and ultimately the palate. A blind tasting of these wines ensures that James Halliday cannot show bias to any wines, and all submissions are considered fairly. To any wine enthusiast, this might sound like the greatest job ever, however, Halliday can taste up to 7000 wines in the lead up to the release of the Wine Companion. It is actually quite a gruelling task!

Wines rating a score of 90 points or above are considered to be Highly Recommended, Outstanding, and Exceptional depending on the bracket. These wines would also be likely to win a Gold or Silver medal at any reputable wine show.

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