Shiraz dethroned as Halliday lauds Pinot Noir as Australia’s best wine





The 2010 Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir has been awarded wine of the year at the inaugural James Halliday Wine Companion Awards in Melbourne.

Designed to highlight outstanding quality, the awards preceded the eminent wine critic’s release of the 2014 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion on Thursday.
Halliday said: “The time was right to celebrate the Australian wine industry’s finest. We’ve never before had a ceremony like this and it’s a fantastic way to recognise those wines and producers that are truly remarkable. It’s been a great year for over-performers.”

The wine was one of the last Halliday tasted for inclusion in his book and it subsequently went on to earn the highest score the esteemed critic has given to an Australian table wine, 99 points out of 100.

It comes with a price tag around $350 and it is said to bring together all the ethereal eminence and abundant fruitiness associated with the world’s greatest Pinot Noirs.

Bass Phillip winemaker Phillip Jones initially but made his first Bass Phillip Pinot Noir in 1984, having planting vines in Leongatha South in 1979. He introduced organic practices in his vineyards in 1993 and biodynamic processes in 2002. Inspired by Burgundian winemaking practices, Jones adheres to very low cropping levels in the vineyard, with minimal intervention in the winery.

"Here is a wine of astonishing purity and elegant harmony," writes Halliday in the entry for the Reserve wine in his new book. "Over the years, (maker) Phillip Jones has toyed with true greatness. Here he has achieved it to an awesome degree."

South Australian based Penfolds was named winery of the year, the 2008 Grange scoring 98 points and being acclaimed the best Shiraz of the year, while the Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon was named the best Cabernet Sauvignon.

"It's the best Penfolds has ever presented to the markets of the globe," Halliday said.

"There is no possibility that the pre-eminence of Penfolds will ever be challenged by any other Australian wine business."
 
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Written by: Ben Moss

Ben Moss 

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