The Adelina Shiraz Mataro is one of the most popular cuvees of all time here at DD. Last year, the 2021 vintage of this premium Clare Valley red blend was in peak form. With huge reviews and an inclusion in James Suckling's Top 100 Wines of the Year, it found universal praise amongst critics and collectors alike.
Made from ancient vines on Col McBryde & Jen Gardiner's Clare Valley vineyard, this perfectly straddles both the classic and contemporary worlds of Australian wine.
The award for Best Value Red goes to what we would argue is pound-for-pound, one of the best value wines in the country, every year.
Barney Flanders' Le Stagiaire Pinot represents the essence of Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir. It's full-flavoured yet incredibly light on its feet. In a region with prices creeping ever-increasingly north, this has remained one of the few handcrafted wines that can still be had under $35. Across two vintages it was consistently our most popular red wine of the year and so it's our Red Bargain of the Year.
The Salo Chardonnay, made by long-time friends Steve Flamsteed and Dave 'Bro' Mackintosh was something of a dark horse for our White Wine of the Year. It's fair to say that the popularity of this small-batch Yarra Valley Chardonnay took us by surprise.
It's a stunning wine from 2021, with undeniable 'X-factor'. Salo is a more savoury, focused Chardonnay from the region. The excellent Full Moon vineyard in the Upper Yarra and a crack team of two exceedingly talented winemakers behind it combined into something very special this year.
When the Mitchell Watervale Riesling dropped in the warehouse this year it absolutely flew out the door. One of the reviews of the year from international wine critic James Suckling and his Senior Editor Stuart Pigott sent this little Clare Valley staple soaring.
The 2022 South Australian Riesling harvest is being touted as one of the best in a generation and there may be no finer example of the quality on offer than this family-made bargain from one of the Clare's premier sub-regions.
Niel Pike's fledgling Limefinger Riesling label is his new passion project set to keep him out of mischief in his post-Pikes retirement. It also allows him to keep things small and quality-focused and deliver the best examples of the grape he's loved for so many years.
The two Limefinger wines were both excellent in 2022, however, The Solace Polish Hill River Riesling brought with it an extra degree of power and concentration. In a year of stellar South Australian Riesling releases, this stood out from the pack. It was a great new find for us this year and one you'll likely be hearing plenty more from us on in 2023!
Since its debut nearly a decade ago Brendan and Laura Carter's Esoterico has been our most popular amber/orange wine. With spicy, exotic flavours and tightly wound energy, it provides both interest and refreshment in equal measures. Great with a cheese plate, spicy food or on its own in a tumbler under the sun, Esoterico is just crazily enjoyable to drink.
It's a real cult favourite amongst all fans of Unico Zelo, and at its extremely reasonable price, its the perfect scumptious introduction to the world of Amber wine. An easy choice fo our Best Other Wine Style award for 2022!