2023 Halliday Wine Companion Scores

It is with great pleasure that we share with you our reviews from the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion. As a previous Halliday 'Winery of the Year,' and 5 Red Star Winery, we take particular pride in these results and are grateful to the Halliday team for producing such an outstanding compendium of Australian Wine.


2021 The Florita Riesling

Gold: 97 Points

Tasted alongside the Florita Cellar Release (2015) and the Wolta Wolta (2019), and never was there a more achingly beautiful trio of wines. This ranks slightly higher than the Cellar Release due to its startling clarity, and scintillating, persuasive power. It will live forever and a day, and I bet at Cellar Release time in 2027, when we see this wine again, you will be thanking your lucky stars you stocked up now, in 2022. Astounding. Erin Larkin

2015 The Florita Cellar Release Riesling

Gold: 96 Points

Released after 6 years in bottle, and when you drink it you'll agree this was a wise move. This is gloriously toasty: yellow flowers (there's a buttercup vibe through the finish), hinoki, Golden Delicious apples, preserved lemons, yellow peach, pulverised quartz, saline acidity and a creamy undercurrent of crushed nuts. This is verging on sublime. Or perhaps it just is. Erin Larkin

2019 Wolta Wolta Riesling

Gold: 97 Points

Fruit from the Wolta Wolta Block at Lodge Hill. Pressed to large-format (2800L) German oak fuder. Wild ferment, left on gross lees for 12 months in barrel, then racked into stainless steel on fine lees for a further 12 months. No adds other than sulphur; lightly filtered, no fining. This is full on – intensely concentrated, penetrating flavour and acidity that is so seamlessly countersunk into all aspects of the experience that you barely notice any one aspect of it. And yet, as time slows in a moment of emergency, so too does this – it veritably suspends time. The flavour lives on interminably. I'm quivering in anticipation for the 2021 release ... in the meantime, drinking this experiential wine. Erin Larkin

2021 Assyrtiko-Silver: 94 Points

2021 Lodge Hill Riesling-Silver: 93 Points

2021 Watervale Riesling-Silver: 93 Points

2021 Expressions Riesling-Silver: 92 Points


2019 The Armagh

Gold: 97 Points

Individual blocks from within the Armagh vineyard (planted 1968). This is a big, savoury, meaty shiraz with layers and layers of concentrated purple fruits, hung deli meat, salted licorice, heirloom tomatoes, amaro herbs, freshly grated nutmeg, bay leaf and clove. The magical thing about this wine is actually not the flavours themselves (although impressive), but the way they spool out over the palate and through the extremely long, seemingly interminable finish. It is unfailingly consistent, the tannins fine and omnipresent. The whole package densely and patiently unfurls in the mouth. The wine is a masterpiece. Forever awaits. Erin Larkin

2019 The McRae Wood Shiraz

Gold: 96 Points

Matured for 12 months in French oak (20% new). Savoury, spicy and intense shiraz here, with emphasis on the savoury. This has layers of shaved hung deli meat, Amaro herbs, a hint of bacon fat, mulberries, blood plums, salted licorice and tapenade, too. The tannins are firm, promising a long life in front of it, although everything is already so nicely integrated, you could drink it tonight. You could, but you shouldn't – it'll evolve so nicely over the years to come. Erin Larkin

2018 Crimson Gold-Silver: 94 Points

2020 Lodge Hill Shiraz-Silver: 92 Points

2020 Single Vineyard Watervale Shiraz-Silver: 90 Points


2019 First Eleven

Gold: 95 Points

As a Test tragic, I've got to tell you, it's a pleasure to be faced with so many cricketing references. Fruit from the Penola Cricket Ground vineyard, matured for 12 months in French oak. There is a highly attractive, pure core of fruit on the mid palate (cassis, blackberry and blood plum swirl in a vortex of flavour here), cloistered by savoury, exotically spiced tannins. The length of flavour too, is admirable, providing ample opportunity for more flavours to emerge. The fine tannins that shape this elegant wine are a highlight; chalky, shapely and a little bit chewy (good). Erin Larkin

2020 Single Vineyard Kirrribilli Cabernet Sauvignon-Silver: 93 Points

2020 Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon-Bronze: 88 Points

2019 Jim's Garden Cabernet-Bronze: 89 Points


2019 Pb Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz-Silver: 93 Points

2020 Barry and Sons Grenache Shiraz Malbec-Bronze: 89 Points