2023 Halliday Top Rated

Top Rated: Cabernet and Family

By The Tasting Team

Cabernet and family embraces cabernet-dominant blends as well as other Bordeaux varieties and their blends. Again this year, Margaret River is all over this class, putting forward almost as many highlights as every other region put together. In our Awards judging, Cullen's Diana Madeline and Mount Mary's Quintet sprinted into a strong lead, with very little between them. Mount Mary took the prize on a count of first place votes.

2023 Cabernet and Family of the Year

Mount Mary Quintet 2020, Yarra Valley

98 points | Price when tasted $165

2020 Mount Mary Quintet, Yarra Valley

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A blend of 44/30/18/4/4% cabernet sauvignon/merlot/cabernet franc/malbec/petit verdot. From a cool year, with the poor flowering reducing the crop of the Quintet varieties by around 50%, this is an essay in elegance and understatement. A medium, bright and translucent ruby red, this is beautifully perfumed with aromas of just-ripened blackcurrants, red cherries, rose petals and gentle cedar notes from the oak. The palate is exceptionally pure fruited and gently textured. The wine finishes with these incredibly silky, long tannins that are in perfect harmony with the fruit and acid. This majestic wine is gorgeous to drink even now but those that still have some in their cellar in 10–15 years (if not longer) will be grateful. – Philip Rich

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*This is an edited extract from the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion, with reviews by Dave Brookes, Jane Faulkner, Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday, Erin Larkin, Jeni Port, Philip Rich and chief editor Tyson Stelzer.

Top image credit: Wine Australia.