Simply the Best – 2021 Foudre Ferment Riesling named 2023 Halliday Wine Companion Wine of the Year

Foudre ferment wi James Halliday 2023 Wine Companion 96 point medal on the bottle

Best’s wins Halliday Wine of the Year, again! There have been celebrations and jubilation all round as the Best’s 2021 Foudre Ferment Riesling was named 2023 Halliday Wine Companion Wine of the Year. The wine was also awarded Best White Wine, Best Riesling and scored 96 points. The announcement was made on August 3rd in Melbourne at the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion awards. The Thomson family collected the award, with members of Best’s team also watching on with pride. A night we’ll certainly never forget.

Wine Companion noted:“The winning wine comes from Best’s Wines in Victoria’s Great Western, winner of our 2021 Best Value Winery. Of all the wines submitted to the 2023 Companion, riesling has been dubbed the best-value grape variety – with 33 per cent earning the value rosette – no other variety came close. So it comes as no surprise that a value-for-money riesling has taken out the title of Wine of the Year. “


This is the second time that Best’s have won this prestigious title, previously winning in 2017 for the 2014 Thomson Family Shiraz. Interestingly, it is also only the second time that a white wine has won ‘Wine of the Year’. This talks to the exceptional quality and value of the wines being produced in the Grampians Region and we could not be prouder. Listen on as Ben Thomson talk about our Foudre Ferment Riesling.

Whilst shiraz often takes the centre stage at Best’s, riesling is also a varietal that we’ve taken seriously over the years. The climate and soils in the Great Western region ideally suit growing exceptional riesling, and over the years the style has continued to evolve and be refined.

The Panel Shares Their Thoughts

For the first time since the inception of the Halliday Wine Companion awards, all panellists blind tasted the shortlisted wines to arrive at a final decision.  The 18 winners were narrowed down, and votes were made for Wine of the Year.

Panellist and wine commentator Jeni Port’s commented:

“A wine style that started a minor revolution in Australia when it was first made, with extended skin contact, wild fermentation and maturation on lees in foudre. Each vintage it tingles and impresses and in a good year like 2021, it excels. Jasmine, florals, bergamot, lime cordial, lemon curd and peach-skin aromas. A wine of some complexity and nuance, featuring bright, vibrant fruits, soft mealy texture with a hint of savouriness. Seamless and sustained.

“To see a $35 riesling win Wine of the Year shows riesling remains one of the most exciting not to mention innovative classic grapes of Australia. The Foudre Ferment Riesling is one of those pure genius moments. A chance taken with the most fantastic results.”

This wine was selected from more than 8000 wines which were tasted for the 2023 edition of the Halliday Wine Companion.

Due to the overwhelming response, the 2021 Foudre Ferment Riesling has now sold out. However, the you might like to try our 2023 vintage Great Western Riesling.

A huge thanks to everyone who supported us and continue to love this Riesling. It marks another exciting chapter in the long history of Best’s Wines and we could not be prouder.

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