Halliday Wine Companion 2022

The Wine Companion is recognised as the benchmark for Australian wine, identifying the ‘best of the best’ from the wine industry, focusing on the uniqueness in every wine, whether it be for good or ‘just missed the mark’, the prestigious wine panel will take the time to give their honest opinion.

This year the tasting panel was comprised of regional specialists across five states, with the team expanding to seven. For the first time, the awards were judged collaboratively by the entire tasting team, coming together in Victoria in March to review the shortlist produced from over 9,000 Australian wines. The tasting panel set a record with 60 per cent more new wineries reviewed for this edition than last year. –

Always eagerly anticipated and never disappointing as wine lovers, industry and wineries await the winners – albeit zooming in online for the past two years. We have retained our 5 Red-Star Winery Rating, and are immensely proud of our scores again this year.


ICON 2018 Lionel Samson Cabernet Sauvignon
“The first release of this premium cabernet, named after one of the founders Lionel Samson. Fruit is sourced from the Wyjup vineyard, planted in 1971. Salted cassis and blackberry pie on the nose and palate. This is supple and elegant and although concentrated, it doesn’t have the palate weight of the shiraz. This is not a bad thing, just interesting. Elegance and longevity live here side by side. A masterful first release, and quite delicious now or in decades to come.” – Erin Larkin, August 2021 (97 points + special value)

ICON 2018 Tony Smith Shiraz
“Named after Tony Smith, founder of Plantagenet wines. The source vines from the Bouverie vineyard were planted in 1968. Only made in exceptional years. Densely packed with concentrated, reverberating fruit that ripples across the tongue and through to the long finish. There is oak here, but it is swamped by the fruit which allows nothing to stand in its way. An exceptional wine of muscular definition and streamlined length of flavour. A very impressive first release: bravo.” – Erin Larkin, August 2021 (97 points + special value)

Wyjup Collection 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
“Single-vineyard cabernet with a distinctly inky countenance – this is a wall-to-wall flavour that dives deep into the palate and soars long. Margaret and Frankland Rivers may take all the limelight for cabernet, but there are a handful of premium producers in Mount Barker doing the subregion very proud indeed, this being one of them. You can taste the sunshine here, but the cool nights are evident in the bright acidity, rounding this out to a very balanced yet intense wine that is built for the long haul.” – Erin Larkin, August 2021

Wyjup Collection 2020 Riesling (New Release September)
“From the Wyjup vineyard in Mount Barker. Picked at night, fermented to dry, left on lees in tank for 3 months prior to bottling. The unbelievably tempting nose of ripe fleshy citrus (lime and lemon), green-apple skin and fine white spice. The palate is taut and saline, with just a lingering curl of flavour left on the palate in the end. Ethereal, but joyful, too.” Erin Larkin, March 2021

Wyjup Collection 2019 Pinot Noir (New Release September)
“Red cherry, sarsaparilla, black pepper, bay leaf, sage and Szechuan peppercorns. The palate is both structurally stemmy and creamy; the layers of flavour tucked away into the folds of texture. The acid provides a cooling flourish throughout, embossed flush into the fruit. An elegant, structural and sophisticated pinot noir.” – Erin Larkin, August 2021

Wyjup Collection 2018 Shiraz 

“Densely packed with flavour from every angle, this is seriously silky, seriously flavoursome and very long. An impressive wine that leads with red forest fruits and closes with the same. The acid and tannins are thick as thieves. The question is, is this too big, rich, or obvious? A beautiful wine, but could benefit from a whisker of restraint.” – Erin Larkin, August 2021

‘Angevin’ 2020 Riesling

“Fruit from Mount Barker. This is powder-fine and racy with concentrated fruit power. Quite an astoundingly beautiful and pure wine of poise, line and length.” – Erin Larkin, August 2021

‘Normand’ 2020 Pinot Noir (New Release)

“Raspberry, strawberry and a sprinkling of fresh coffee grounds. The tannins are very fine and leave a trace of metal/aniseed/licorice. The aftertaste fires back up with the cherry and strawberry. Pure and pretty, the colour is moving towards hot pink.” – – Erin Larkin, August 2021


The Great Southern is a marvellous place for growing vines and making wine – we are committed to this region as we always have been. Now under the guidance of highly revered Great Southern devotee Chief Winemaker Mike Garland, we will continue to make wines that show our passion and love for the region.

A rich past and an exciting future ahead.