Matthews Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines

WA Wineries Feature in Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines

Congratulations to Leeuwin Estate and Mosswood who have been included in the top 40 of Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines for 2017.

Leeuwin Estate was also named Winery of the Year and awarded his highest point score, a perfect 20/20 for the new release 2014 Art Series Chardonnay in his annual 100 Best Australian Wines Report at the London launch on 23 May 2017.


Matthew reflected on the influence that Leeuwin Estate has had on the UK market noting:

"I have followed Leeuwin Estate closely for 28 years – I tasted my first Art Series Chardonnay in April 1990 and I remember it as if it was yesterday. 

"I have bought, sold and/or written about this pioneering estate every single year since.  Leeuwin is a titan among Australian boutique wineries.  No other estate has such a lofty nor long term grip on Chardonnay supremacy.  When I pour Leeuwin Prelude Chardonnay or Art Series Chardonnay at events or on the Roadshow consumers are actively excited to taste the wine. 

"These wines have an aura of greatness and even newcomers to wine seem to have heard this name.  Perhaps this is because this idyllic estate brings so much more than just its epic wines to our lives.  The art gallery (and labels), restaurant and music/concert sub-themes bring this winery to life and they show that Denis and Trish and now Simone and Justin Horgan appreciate how wine is but one part of the overall experience of our artistic and hedonistic existence.

"I will never forget a vertical tasting of Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay, hosted by their most fervent cheerleader, UK agent Hilary Gibbs from Burgundy specialists Domaine Direct, back in 2002.  We tasted wines from 1987 – 1999 and every single wine was sublime.  Fifteen-year-old Chardonnay, back then, which stood up perfectly and reminded us that Australia was becoming a Chardonnay force to be reckoned with, was a siren call to us all in the UK. 

"It was, to my mind, the beginning of Australia’s Chardonnay era, which continues to evolve to this day.  Without Leeuwin I feel that the entire country would not have travelled so far so fast and with their standards as high as ever, and with Art Series Cabernet joining the Chardonnay as an important wine for serious wine lovers’ cellars, it is my immense pleasure to announce that Leeuwin has picked up this year’s Winery of the Year title."

The 100 Best Australian Wines Report is available for sale on in ‘digital’ .pdf form.



Cullen Award For Excellence - James Halliday AM Announced as the Winner for 2016

Vanya Cullen and the Cullen family hosted the inaugural Cullen Award For Excellence, an event dedicated to recognising outstanding effort made by an individual, group or organisation to promote or improve wine or winemaking practices in Western Australia, whether they reside in WA, Australia or internationally.

The Award is dedicated to honouring the legacy of Diana Madeline and Kevin John Cullen, who together founded Cullen Wines in 1971 and believed in the potential the fledgling area had to produce world class wines. Their warmth, generosity of spirit and love for others around them was shared with the assembled guests through remembrances from some of their closest friends on the night.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening, local Steve Castan, introduced Ms Libby Mettam MLA and Member for Vasse to open the proceedings, who was there to represent the Premier of WA. Rick Cullen spoke of the legacy of Diana and Kevin and shared with guests handwritten notes from their mother Diana. Vanya Cullen had the honour of introducing and toasting the inaugural winner, James Halliday AM to a standing ovation from the esteemed crowd.

James Halliday began his career as a lawyer, a career in which he excelled, but he also followed his love and passion for winemaking. He earned a stellar reputation as a wine judge and wine writer around the globe and published his first book at the age of 41. Many years, many books and many, many tastings later, James is known as the pre eminent authority on Australian wines and his annual publication, the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion, is considered the ‘bible’ of Australian Wines.

James Halliday

James Halliday

In accepting the Award, James spoke of the ‘perfect’ conditions Margaret River held for winemaking and his ongoing love for the region. He added:

“I am deeply honoured by and appreciative of the award, but am simply a messenger for the winemakers who have so skilfully brought the terroir of their vineyards to life in the glass.”

The Cullen Award for Excellence will be an annual award, culminating in a formal gala dinner to name the recipient. Any enquiries can be directed to

James Halliday and Vanya Cullen

James Halliday and Vanya Cullen

521 bottles of wine on the wall!

Ray Jordan is tasting the Top 100 Reds today and will be tasting for the 2017 Guide from next week. Submissions close on the 12th July.

If you're a producer and would like your wine included in "The West Australian Wine Guide 2017" please contact '' early next week for details.




In the James Halliday 2015 Chardonnay Challenge, three WA producers from three regions - Margaret River, Pemberton and Geographe – made the list of the top 8.  WA was the only state with multiple representation in the list.
Equal 2nd - Flametree Sub Regional Series Margaret River Chardonnay 2014 - 97 Points
Equal 3rd – Houghton Wisdom Pemberton Chardonnay 2013 - 96 Points
                    - Comus Geographe Chardonnay 2014
 - 96 Points

“The 2013 Houghton Wisdom Pemberton Chardonnay has taken out regional honours as ‘Best of Region’ title holder with 95 points.  The Halliday Chardonnay Challenge has quickly established a formidable reputation for identifying the very best in modern Chardonnay across the full gamut of Australian styles.  In the show’s short three year history, over 1000 wines from more than 350 producers representing 60 different Australian regions have been entered and judged, with 95 points or higher awarded to fewer than 100 Chardonnays – a fantastic accolade for the Houghton viticulture and winemaking team.” Ross Pamment. Houghton Wines Senior Winemaker/Manager

“Obviously we're thrilled to come equal second in this year’s James Hallidays Chardonnay Challenge with 97 points.
It's a great reward for the team and reflects the effort being put into our Chardonnay program.
Once again Margaret River has featured prominently in this year’s results and I believe this reflects the wonderful Chardonnays being made in our region.”
- Cliff Royle. Flametree Wines Senior Winemaker

The highest scoring wines from each region, scoring 95+ points, are recognised as the regional champions. These wineries are leading the way in producing exciting regional chardonnay.

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