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Australia

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    James Halliday AM is an Australian wine writer and critic, winemaker, and senior wine competition judge, born on 1938.

    Since 1979 he has written and co-authored more than 40 books on wine, including contributions to the  Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine. Since 1986 he has published an annual overview of Australian wine which (since 2000) has been entitled James Halliday Annual Wine Companion.

    Jancis Robinson has described Halliday as the protégé of Len Evans, and his successor "as Australia’s leading wine writer".

    James Halliday started his wine career while being a partner at Clayton Utz from 1966 to 1988. He established Brokenwood winery in the Hunter Region in 1970 with two legal colleagues. In 1985 he founded the Coldstream Hills Winery in the Yarra Valley wine region. Coldstream Hills was acquired by Southcorp Wines in 1996 with Halliday taking on the position of Group Winemaker, Regional Wineries with Southcorp.

    Halliday's career as a wine judge started in 1977 and he has been accorded the role of Chairman of Judges of the Victorian Wine Show, Sydney International Winemakers Competition, Adelaide Wine Show and National Wine Show Canberra. He also has judged at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and in wine competitions in the United Kingdom, United States, South Africa and New Zealand.

    Awards received for his writing include the Wine Spectator Book of the Year for Wine Atlas of California, the Gold Award at the World Food Media Awards for the Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand, and Best Multimedia Lifestyle Product at the Australian Industry Multimedia Awards for James Halliday's Interactive Wine Companion of Australia and New Zealand CD-ROM". Several of his books have been translated into European and Asian languages. He received the Charles Heidsieck Award for Excellence in Wine Journalism in 1983, the James Beard Foundation Award in both 1993 and 1994, the Julia Child award for Best Wine, Spirits or Beer Book in 1994, and the Maurice O'Shea Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian wine industry in 1995.

    In June 2010, James was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours for "service to the wine industry as a winemaker, show judge, author and promoter of Australian wine internationally, and through senior roles with a range of professional organisations." 

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James Halliday, Wine Writer (Australia)  had a tasting of  23 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Swinney Farvie Syrag 2019 / Bacon fat, maple, salted pomegranate, raspberry, graphite, red dirt, mulberry and pink peppercorn. Like the Hokusai wave, this crashes and courses with flavours and textures, ebbing and flowing on the palate. This is balanced, restrained, long, powerful and most importantly, shaped and structured by supple, chewy tannins. They hold the fruit in the cups of their hands and usher it through a very long finish. A weightlessly poetic wine. 98 pts - Exceptional

1m 26d ago

James Halliday, Wine Writer (Australia)  had a tasting of  19 Wines  from  5 Producers 

Warterton Hall Riesling 2016 /Vines planted in ’99. 389 dozen produced. It’s a searing riesling, all cut and thrust, but blossomy aromatics and a punchy aspect to its orange/citrussy flavours make you sit up and take notice. It doesn’t lack texture either. Indeed, the more you look at this wine the more impressive it seems.

3m 5d ago

James Halliday, Wine Writer (Australia)  had a tasting of  13 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Hill of Grace 2015 / “Henschke says the '15 vintage provided stunning and elegant Eden Valley shiraz with extraordinary flavours, purity of fruit and acid balance. And indeed that's a fair description of this medium-bodied Hill of Grace. The colour is still bright, clear crimson-purple, and the beautifully balanced fruit flavours are vibrantly fresh. It would be easy to underestimate the likely longevity of this wine. One of the all-time greats.”

1y 4d ago

James Halliday, Wine Writer (Australia)  had a tasting of  15 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Penfolds Grange 1990 / Destined to be one of the greatest Granges. A beautifully weighted and concentrated bouquet, with seamless fruit and oak; masses of dark cherries and plum. In the mouth a superb wine; while the fruit is opulent, it is not excessively so; indeed there is a touch of near austerity to the fine tannins to give the wine both character and balance. The iron fist in a velvet glove.

1y 1m ago

James Halliday, Wine Writer (Australia)  had a tasting of  14 Wines  from  1 Producers 

2015 Henschke Mount Edelstone / "This was the first wine sold in bottle ('52) by Henschke, although it has had to play second fiddle to Grange since '58 when the latter came on stream. New oak is only 22%, and the majority of the oak is French. The vintage was excellent, the flavours deep, with soft blackberry and plum fruits wending their way across the palate, cushioned by cedary oak and carefully polished tannins. It's utterly classic drinking, with unalloyed pleasure now but no less in another 20 years."97 points

1y 7m ago

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