James Halliday’s 2005 Top 100
Noted Australian wine critic James Halliday has released his list of the Top 100 Wines from Australia. The list, which is 101 strong, was chosen from a field of over 10,000 wines, although only 1233 had a chance of making it into the Top 100. What is interesting with the 2005 list is that preference was given to medium-bodied wines with alcohol level below 15%. Reading through the list it becomes quite obvious that this is not a list that you will see on wine store shelves in the USA. There are a few familiar faces like the Turkey Flat Shiraz 2003 (96 points) and the St Hallett Old Block Shiraz 2002 (96 points). But others like the Hewitson The Mad Hatter Shiraz 2003 (95 points) are not something I have seen. I’d also haven’t seen the Kooyong Meres Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 (95 points) or the Paringa Estate Pinot Noir 2003 (96 points). But if things go as planned I will be doing so in a week or less when I visit Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
Its instructive to red both the Introduction and the Conclusion penned by Halliday on this years’ Top 100. The former has a little jab at Robert Parker (or the Parker Factor), while the latter is pointed at critics who argue that Australia has no terroir – a small attempt to put Matt Kramer of the Wine Spectator in his place.