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Best of Australia: Top medal-winning wines to try

A definitive list of Australia's top-scoring wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Blind tasted and rated by the world’s leading wine experts across three stages of judging, medals awarded at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) are objective merits of quality.

‘Decanter World Wine Awards attracts wines from all over the world and it attracts judges from all over the world. So in that sense it’s quite important’ comments co-chair Michael Hill Smith MW.

He continues, ‘The other point of difference is that DWWA very much has regional specialist judges, so the people who are judging Champagne know a lot about Champagne, the people that are judging Australia know a lot about Australia. So that’s quite different and I think that it gives the competition a real edge.’

Led by joint Regional chairs Huon Hooke and Justin Knock MW, the 2022 competition saw much excitement from the Australia judging panel with Australian wines awarded an impressive 744 medals across all categories including a record haul of 60 Gold medals.

On this, Knock MW comments: ‘The number of wines entered in the D, E and F [price] categories was proportionally very high, giving us a very high calibre of wines to taste and no doubt leading to the strong performance of Australia overall.’

Scroll down to see the top Australian wines from DWWA 2022

Re-tasted in second and third rounds of judging to award Platinum and Best in Show, Australian wines saw continued success with 15 Platinum and six Best in Show medals awarded, making Australia the most-awarded New World wine producing nation to place in the competition’s top 50 list.

With the annual Wine Australia tasting in London creating buzz amongst the wine trade and Australia Day this week, we highlight Australia’s highest scoring wines from the 2022 competition, all scoring 97 points.

The best of the best, discover the sparkling, white, red and fortified wines from across the nation that impressed most. It’s no surprise Australia’s reputation for wine quality and diversity continues to grow.

Best of Australia: Top medal-winning wines to try


Arras, Grand Vintage, Tasmania 2009

Platinum, 97 points
A wonderful aged wine, with a rich nose of fresh butter, brioche, smoked cream and toffee. The delicate mousse has a lovely beady feel, with restrained fruit, layered textures and a creaminess on the palate. Citrus, tropical fruit, apricots and dried fruit notes, all balanced by fresh acidity, make for a great finish. Alc 12.6%

Sidewood, Isabella Rosé, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2015

Platinum, 97 points
A sunset colour, with very rich, mellow aged aromas. The flavours on the palate are soft, rich and multi-dimensional. Strawberry, raspberry, nuts, honey and toast elements add flavour interest. This is a complex wine, with a long and very satisfying finish. Alc 12%


Orlando, Lyndale Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2019

Best in Show, 97 points
You’ll have no trouble telling our two Antipodean Chardonnay wines in the Best in Show selection apart — which is exactly as it should be, as place-related differences step to the fore in winemakers’ thinking and craft. This wine is more greensilver than gold, and packed with aromatic floral lime, underscored by a swirl of cream from barrel-fermentation. It’s vivid and fresh without being skinny, lean or over-taut — clearly a Chardonnay at ease with its cool climate. Yet the layers are there, too, like exposed sedimentary strata, giving the wine a vertical dimension which will carry it effortlessly through a meal. Alc 13.3%

Tyrrell’s, Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley, New South Wales 2016

Best in Show, 97 points
Those who long for freshness, restraint and petite shapeliness in white wine paired with a bracingly acidic palate shouldn’t confine their search to the northern hemisphere’s high-latitude wines. Australia’s great original, Hunter Valley Semillon, offers just this profile in youth — with the added lure of additional layers of perfume, complexity and character as the cellar years pass. This classic example is, at six years old, on the cusp: those unique scents of lime, parsley and rue are beginning to deepen, while the lean, saline edge of youth is beginning to soften and open. It’s as pure and pristine as any Riesling, any Coteaux Champenois, any Txakolina, though its restrained fruit characters if anything makes it even more amenable than those wines at table. Alc 11%

Brookland Valley, Reserve Chardonnay, Margaret River, Western Australia 2020

Platinum, 97 points
Opens with a lifted aroma of cantaloupe melon with subtle toasty oak notes and some nutty richness. The oak leads the initial palate which opens into restrained ripe fruits with a mouth-filling texture. A trace of light bitterness on the end provides delicious freshness. Alc 13.7%

Pewsey Vale, Museum Reserve The Contours Riesling, Eden Valley, South Australia 2016

Platinum, 97 points
A ripe aroma builds with warm yellow fruits before opening into lemon freshness. The palate has richness and depth, with a mineral backbone running along with the toast and burnt-lime characters. There is a trace of sweetness but then a firm, crisp finish with a twist of phenolics. Alc 12.5%

Stella Bella, Chardonnay, Margaret River, Western Australia 2020

Platinum, 97 points
A lovely wine with an intense grapefruit pith and fresh brine quality that lifts the whole palate. A dry attack starts with zesty citrus and yellow fruits, opening to offer tropical notes and hints of creamy vanilla. There is pithy length to the refreshing, almost austere zesty finish. Alc 13.5%


Deep Woods Estate, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia 2020

Best in Show, 97 points
The world’s greatest red wines often seem infused with a sense of refinement and ease when mature, no matter how dense and impenetrable they appear in youth. This hallmark of this finely crafted Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River is that, youthful as it is, it’s able to convey both density and refined ease simultaneously. In colour it’s dark black-purple, and you’ll find remarkable fruit concentration and closeness of texture in the mouth. Yet the aromas are warm, open and resonant, pure and unthrusting, and such is the clarity of organisation of the palate, finesse of the tannins and delicacy of that fruit that it already drinks with the serenity of a fully mature wine. Fine craftsmanship here. Alc 14%

Sons of Eden, Remus Old Vine Shiraz, Eden Valley, South Australia 2019

Best in Show, 97 points
Given that the two are adjacent regions, it’s hard to believe how different Shiraz can be when you compare an authentic Eden Valley wine from one from its slightly lower-altitude neighbour, Barossa. Our two Best In Show South Australian Shirazes make this point memorably. Both are dense, dark and black-red in colour, but give this wine a sniff and you’ll find perfumed blackcurrant fruits impeccably defined, their breath sweetened with a little oak. On the palate, it is intense, deep and salty-savoury but clearly a tenor in range, surging through the palate on a surf of pristine fruits. The natural balance is impressive, as are the ultra-soft tannins which seem to melt into the fruits, combining with the wine’s saline crushed-stone richness to convey some of the profundity of terroir possible here. Alc 14.5%

Sons of Eden, Romulus Old Vine Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2019

Best in Show, 97 points
This Barossa wine makes the perfect point of comparison with our Eden Valley Shiraz Best In Show. Both wines are a saturatedly dark, opaque black-red in colour, but in place of the racy, lifted fruits of the Eden Shiraz, this Barossa wine is weightier, sweeter, its fruits confit and pressed, and with notes of oil, camphor and leaf litter lending those fruits an intriguing chiaroscuro. On the palate, it is dense and almost shockingly flavoury, the flavour pattern mimicking the wine’s aromatic complexities to compelling effect. Texturally, too, this is a far weightier wine, with splendidly rich, flavour-saturated tannins and an admirably soft, unconfected acid balance. Virtuoso, vanguard Barossa. Alc 14.5%

Beresford, Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, South Australia 2016

Platinum, 97 points
A powerful nose shows development in its roasting-pan bouquet and cigar box nuances. The palate is polished, with lashings of soft tannins and a fruit-sweet core of plums, raisins, chocolate, and vanilla oak. Already drinking well, yet with substantial ageing potential. Alc 13.3%

Brookland Valley, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River 2020

Platinum, 97 points
A classic ‘Claret’ nose with blackcurrants, juicy black fruits, and some bell pepper notes. The palate is welcoming, with enticing bright blue and dark red fruits, toast, and a whiff of herbs. The palate is full, with fruit-driven tannins, and a wonderful length. Alc 14%

Eisenstone, Ebenezer SR802 Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Luscious milky espresso with cocoa, mocha, and dark chocolate. A hedonistic wine with plenty of dense, dark, black and blueberry fruits with hints of raisins. The power-packed palate shows a sweet core surrounded by firm tannins and a lovely molasses richness. Alc 14.5%

Langmeil, Valley Floor Shiraz, Barossa, South Australia 2019

Platinum, 97 points
A rich aroma with evolving blackcurrant and damson notes with some spicy, smoky accents. There is prominent oak evident on the palate which is full and rounded with supportive tannins. A delicious style, certainly not a blockbuster, and more elegant in style. Alc 14.5%

Ponting, 366 Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia 2018

Platinum, 97 points
Intense black fruit perfumes on the nose, and a sweet, luscious palate, with vanilla, cedar and leather and beautifully integrated pencilly oak. A layered, poised and confident wine with purity and restraint. One that will age gracefully. Alc 14.5%

Wakefield Taylors, St Andrews Shiraz, Clare Valley, South Australia 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Very well-defined dark fruits with some sweet spices and dried herbs. A big muscular wine with a savoury-spicy character on the palate with a lot of character. Shows a great potential for ageing with its fruit concentration and lingering finish. Alc 14.5%

Wolf Blass, Platinum Label Shiraz, Barossa, South Australia 2007

Platinum, 97 points
Remarkably youthful, with silky perfumed excellence. The nose offers rosebuds and sweet cherry liqueur with a eucalypt forest floor undertone. The palate is seamless and mellow, opening into black cherries, figs, sweet fruit cake, and vanilla. Still bright and has many years left in it. A surprising wine. Alc 15.5%

Zonte’s Footstep, Age of Enlightenment Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia 2019

Platinum, 97 points
There is an intensely scented nose of sweet and pungent spices, baked blackberry fruit, hints of orange, and a touch of coffee spilled over asphalt. A textbook McLaren Vale style with plush dense fruits and lots of pleasure, finishing with mouth coating tannins, and a sweet, dark chocolate finish. Alc 14.5%


Galway Pipe, Rare Tawny Aged 25 Years NV

Best in Show, 97 points
This part of our Best In Show selection is usually the monopoly of one of the great Rutherglen fortifieds, and a glance at our Platinums will show that they scored as well as ever. This year, though, it was a fortified GSM that came stomping through to Best In Show victory: an often unsung, unheralded category that draws on some of the deepest and oldest South Australian traditions. The wine is walnut, just clearing to a deep tawny at the rim. Aromatically, you’ll find apples, nuts, cinders and sackcloth amidst much else, while on the palate this is a rich, deep but above all energetic wine, lancing its way about your palate and balancing its burnt sugar richness and distilled-compote fruits with bracing acidity and a lingering extractive force that almost seems tannic … until you realise that it’s actually just the residues of time itself. Alc 18.5%

McWilliam’s, Show Reserve Tawny 25 Year Old, Riverina, New South Wales NV

Platinum, 97 points
There’s a very intense rancio character of dried apricot, dried flowers, dried orange peel, and caramelised walnuts. The palate is massively fruity and luscious, with a high, spirity alcohol. There are flavours of dates, smoked lemons, amber, liquorice, and angelica on the tremendously intense and complex palate. Perfect! Alc 18.9%

Morris, Old Premium Rare Topaque, Rutherglen, Victoria NV

Platinum, 97 points
Great density of colour, viscosity, age, and antiquity. The nose has some malty younger wine aspects as well as rancio super-aged characters of malt, chocolate, roasted coffee beans, caramel, molasses, and toffee. Great flavour, not too ancient and stale, but lively. A very great wine. Alc 16.5%

See all DWWA results for Australian wines

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