By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News

Winners of the inaugural Halliday Wine Companion Awards were announced last night, recognising Australia’s leading wineries, both large and small.

The awards were held at the Melbourne Museum and marked the release of the 2016 Halliday Wine Companion, which is published by Hardie Grant Books and goes on sale today. RRP $39.95.

Guests at the invitation only event enjoyed $117,000 worth of the year’s best wines, which complemented a five course degustation menu.

The six major awards of the evening were Wine of the Year, which went to Serrat 2014 Shiraz Viognier; Winery of the Year, which went to Tahbilk; Winemaker of the Year, awarded to Peter Fraser from Yangarra Estate; Best New Winery of the Year, won by Bicknell fc; Best Value Winery of the Year, awarded to West Cape Howe; and Dark Horse Winery of the Year, Terindah Estate.

Alister Purbrick, owner Tahbilk told TheShout: “To my mind, given James Halliday's stature and influence in the world of wine, this award is the preeminent accolade that an Australian winery can receive and is certainly the most prestigious award won by Tahbilk in its 155 year history.

“James Halliday made a comment to me two years ago that he thought that the new release wines he had just tasted were the best from Tahbilk as a collective that we had released. Last year he called me and commented that he thought we had surpassed the previous year and that the 2009 Tahbilk 1860 vines Shiraz was the best of that lineage ever produced. I think that the combination of consistent quality over all new releases for a number of years captured his attention and pushed Tahbilk over the line for the award this year.”

Ten coveted varietal awards were also announced:

Sparkling: 2008 Jansz Tasmania Single Vineyard Vintage Chardonnay (Tyson Stelzer); 96 points; $65

Riesling: 2004 Crawford River Reserve Riesling; 98 points; $92

Semillon: 2009 Brokenwood ILR Reserve Hunter Valley Semillon; 97 points; $70

Sauvignon Blanc: 2014 Terre a Terre Single Vineyard Wrattonbully Sauvignon Blanc; 97 points; $35

Chardonnay: 2013 Deep Woods Estate Reserve Margaret River Chardonnay; 98 points; $35

Pinot Noir: 2013 Mount Mary Yarra Valley Pinot Noir; 98 points; $120

Other Reds: 2013 Cullen Diana Madeline; 98 points; $115

Shiraz: 2014 Serrat Yarra Valley Shiraz Viognier; 99 points; $40 (also Wine of the Year)

Cabernet Sauvignon: 2011 Devil’s Lair 9th Chamber Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon (Campbell Mattinson); 98 points; $120

Fortifieds: 1915 Seppetsfield 100 Year Old Para Liqueur; 100 points; $500 (100ml).

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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