It is difficult to dispute the #1 Red of Halliday’s Top 100 announced this last weekend. The 2020 Bondar ‘Violet Hour’ Shiraz is the only red wine scoring 97pts or better and coming in at under $30. The wine walks a perfect line, offering up expansive fruit flavours that reach every corners of your palate, all within a silky, seductive frame. We loved it and we also loved their superb Fiano white. A miniscule 80 case production for this white wine but it is definitely worth it! (Note the Bondar Violet Hour hails from the Rayner vineyard that once produced Brokenwood’s Rayner Vineyard Shiraz – how do Bondar do this for half the price… perhaps we should not ask!

Giant Steps is always in the conversation when it comes to Australia’s finest wines and two Pinots feature prominently in Halliday’s Top 100 this year. The knockout Pinot Rose is the only other 97 point sub $30 red in the entire list and the single Vineyard Applejack ups the ante with a superb 98pt score, coming in as Halliday’s second finest Pinot of the year, coming in just behind the 99pt Pooley Jack Dennis 2020 ($140+). Last but not least Cullen’s magnificent 2019 Diana Madeline, one of Australia’s benchmark Cabernet Blends is pleasing all the critics with Halliday, Hooke and Winefront (Gary Walsh) all rating it 98pts, quite a rare feat yet very deserved for one of Australia’s finest Cabernets.