Wine of the Week

Each week James Halliday selects a standout wine from his recent tastings.

2013 Kangarilla Road Vineyard The Devil's Whiskers McLaren Vale Shiraz

Rating: 95

From the opening whiff through to the finish and aftertaste, the wine rings the bell of McLaren Vale, its black fruits wrapped in Belgian chocolate; while filled with these flavours, high quality oak and supple tannins lend support and structure, and the aftertaste is savoury, not fruit-sweet.

14.5% alc. / RRP $40 / 2033 / McLaren Vale

Visit the Kangarilla Road winery page

2013 Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Syrah

Rating: 96

Deep crimson-purple; spice, tar, licorice and sombre black fruits on the bouquet lead into an intense, full-bodied palate that catches you by surprise with its (relative) lightness of foot. Savoury tannins are there in abundance, as is French oak, but with sufficient protein on hand, you could enjoy a glass (possibly even two) of this wine.


14.5% alc. / RRP $100 / 2048 / Clarendon Hills

Visit the Clarendon Hills winery page

2015 Coates The Garden of Perfume and Spice Syrah

Rating: 95

From the Adelaide Hills, Robe and Langhorne Creek, each parcel wild yeast-fermented for 3 weeks, with 10% whole bunches, matured for 12 months in French barriques (30% new); 300 dozen made. An elegant wine singing the same song from the first whiff of the bouquet through to the finish, blackberry and blueberry faithfully replayed on the immaculately balanced palate, likewise oak and gently savoury/foresty tannins.


14% alc. / RRP $30 / 2028 / Coates

Visit the Coates winery page

2011 First Creek Winemaker's Reserve Hunter Valley Semillon

Rating: 95

The wine showed generosity when it was 1yo, and that generosity has now fully flowered, with a blossom-filled bouquet, and a palate with some of the citrus notes you would expect from a youngish riesling, but adding honeysuckle and even a hint of partially dried fruit. Acidity is, and will remain, the staff of life for the wine. Irresistible.


10% alc. / RRP $50 / 2023 / First Creek

Visit the First Creek winery page

2014 Moppity Vineyards Lock and Key Hilltops Cabernet Sauvignon

Rating: 95

Excellent, deep crimson-purple colour; a very high quality second-tier wine typical of Moppity Vineyards and its exceptional vineyard in Hilltops. Intense blackcurrant and black olive fruit is given additional context by its fine web of ripe, balanced tannins. Top fruit, top winemaking.


13.9% alc. / 2034 / Moppity Vineyards

Visit the Moppity Vineyards winery page

2014 DOWIE DOOLE C.T McLaren Vale Shiraz

Rating: 94

From blocks in Blewitt Springs and Tatachilla, open-fermented separately for 10 days, pressed direct to used French (70%) and American (30%) barrels for 24 months maturation. Good depth and hue; a rich yet supple and smooth shiraz that stays well within the line in the sand for alcohol issues; the flavours of purple (plum) and black (blackberry) fruits sit well together, and the overall balance of fruit and oak is impeccable. A prosperous future awaits.


14.2% alc. / RRP $35 / 2034 / DOWIE DOOLE

Visit the DOWIE DOOLE winery page

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Special Value

Wines considered to offer special value for money.