Wine of the Week

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

2013 Dorrien Estate Black Wattle Vineyards Mount Benson Cabernet Sauvignon

Rating: 95

Exceptional, deep crimson-purple; a high quality example of a wine with a distinguished lineage, to this day lying outside the norm for Mount Benson with the depth and intensity of its cassis/black olive fruit and firm, but integrated, tannins.

14% alc. / RRP $33 / 2035 / Barossa Valley

Visit the Dorrien Estate winery page

2012 Peter Lehmann Stonewell Barossa Shiraz

Rating: 97

Has retained exceptional deep crimson-purple colour; as the time perspective increases, so does the stature of the ’12 vintage, and its longevity. Here an ocean of full-bodied black fruits has tides of tannins and quality oak all playing off and enhancing each other on the prodigiously long palate.

14.5% alc. / RRP $100 / 2042 / Barossa Valley

Visit the Peter Lehmann winery page

2015 Nannup Ridge Estate Rolling Hills Chardonnay

Rating: 95

Estate-grown, crushed and destemmed, wild-fermented to 3˚ baume then inoculated with cultured yeast, 33% in new French oak (20% mlf), the balance in stainless steel with French oak staves. Gleaming straw-green; has more depth and complexity than most encountered in the Blackwood Valley, perhaps due to the sophisticated winemaking. The wine fills the mouth with richly textured stone fruit and fig flavours, French oak obvious yet balanced.

13.2% alc. / RRP $28 / 2025 / Blackwood Valley

Visit the Nannup Ridge winery page

2015 Stella Bella Margaret River Chardonnay

Rating: 95

Matured in French oak for 12 months. Stella Bella cruises effortlessly these days, this wine a prime example. Nothing is overplayed, allowing the peach and nectarine flavours free expression, yet also providing texture and gentle complexity.

13% alc. / RRP $32 / 2023 / Margaret River

Visit the Stella Bella winery page

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

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Special Value

Wines considered to offer special value for money.