Saturday, 31 December 2022

The Best of 2022!

2022 has been big for Qwine Reviews and this is a more than appropriate final post for the year. 

Just over 700 reviews were posted in 2022 along with various articles, and the odd radio appearance, it was great to be back hosting some lunches and dinners too. 

The breadth and diversity of the wines that come across the bench never cease to amaze and it's the little one-percenters that draw the eye to what can be seen, at times, as a cramped marketplace.

Winemakers have had their challenges be it in the vineyards and in the export market among others, but these stoic folk press on - respect! 

From an operational perspective, on 1 August some changes were implemented to how I operate and I was overwhelmed by the incredible support from winemakers, marketers and the general wine industry as a result. I'm grateful that my contribution and efforts are valued by so many - thank you.

Big thanks to you too, my readership! Be it the ever-increasing subscription, the comments, emails and chats via the social networks, I feel humbled that my words help people make better choices and stretch their decision-making that little bit more, whether it be a variety foreign to them or to a producer they have never heard of. Here's to many more!

Thank you also to the wineries, winemakers and PR staff for your samples, willingness to share your knowledge and for your time be it in person or over the phone. I really value and cherish these relationships.

For over ten years this site has been free to access for all readers. If you can spare a dollar or two to keep this site going with minimal ads and to keep access free for all, a donation would be gratefully appreciated. I receive a small commission on sales from Langtons, Wine Selectors, The Wine Collective, Vinomofo and Catch, so if you consider buying from any of these, please access via these links and a little pocket money gets thrown my way from any sale made as a result. Graci. 

Given the volume of wines tasted each year, I always get asked for what are considered "my best". I've tried to narrow down 700+ wines from 2022 to look something like this... 

Something I value highly is my independence and the sheer number of wines I get to review. These are the best because I feel they are deserving of that status. You won't see me pose in a revealing pic with a bottle to get more likes and followers, I don't buy followers nor will I add a cringey dance to seek your favour let alone make up my own scoring system. At Qwine we keep things classy. 

Throw your arms around one or two of these if you have yet to taste them. Support these businesses direct or via independent retailers rather than go through chain stores.

Thanks for your support and I wish you all the best for 2023 when we do it all again!



Best White Under $20 - The Hydropath Society Gruner Veltliner 2021

Best Red Under $20 - Yalumba Y Series Pinot Noir 2022 

Soaking up the sun at Rancho Relaxo - Raidis Estate The Kid Riesling 2022

Get In My Belly - Tim Smith Rosé 2022 

Can't Get Enough Award presented by Barry White - Schwarz Wine Co Grower Grenache 2021

Interest for days - Nuova Scuola La Maria 2021

Impress with something a little left of centre - Comyns & Co Reserve Shiraz Pinot Noir 2019

Shelf Appeal Award - Nightfall Wines (images don't do the hologram labels justice)

Something awesome from a winery you may not have heard of - Patina Sticky Tea Riesling 2018

Best Grenache (just coz I love the variety) - Yangarra Estate Ovitelli Grenache 2020

Best Emerging Variety White - Golden Grove Estate Vermentino 2022

Best Emerging Variety Red - Oliver's Taranga Mencia 2022

Most Consistent Producer - Oakridge Wines

Producer to Watch - Dappled Wines

Deep Pockets White - Levantine Hill Katherine's Paddock Chardonnay 2018

Deep Pockets Red - Zema Estate Saluti Cabernet Shiraz 2016

Best Rosé - Turkey Flat Rosé 2022  

Best Red - Jim Brand Domain Cabernets 2019

Proxime Accessit - Montalto The Eleven Chardonnay 2021

Best Wine of 2022 - Oakridge 864 Funder and Drive Block Chardonnay 2020

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Golden Grove Estate Joven Tempranillo 2022


Sunsets, cool breezes and charcuterie boards are all you need for this fantastic Tempranillo from Golden Grove Estate. Its approachability makes it ideal for so many foods and occasions. Check it out - it's a beauty.

Friday, 30 December 2022

Jansz Tasmania Vintage Rosé 2018


Some pink fizz to get you in the NYE mood... Made from 100% Pinot Noir, this is smart gear.

Seachange Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


For 20 bucks, this is a very handy Cabernet. From casual barbecues to your campground catch ups, this will have you covered.

Paisley Silk Shiraz 2020


A reliable Barossa Shiraz to sink your teeth into. An avalanche of dense fruit the hero.

Thursday, 29 December 2022

Nuova Scuola La Maria 2022


If a textural delight is your weakness, head on this way. Made from two Portuguese varieties (Fernao Pires and Verdelho), it's well worth checking out.

Clovely Estate Shiraz Saperavi 2019

Blend Shiraz with another big wine - how Australian? This Shiraz Saperavi from Clovely Estate offers plenty of interest and is a stand out in the range.

Nuova Scuola Nebbiolo 2021


Sourced from a tiny vineyard a mere stone’s throw from the cellar door, this is a very clever Nebbiolo.

Hillsdale Estate Sparkling Kristalwyn 2021


Blended with Vermentino, this comes from only the second producer of the Crystal variety in Australia.

Gra Fion Shiraz Viognier 2021


You could fall head over heels for the easy flow and glossy presence of this Shiraz Viognier. 

South Burnett Distillers Apinya Gin


Clovely Estate has embarked on distilling in the wine "off-season" and they have curated a range of gins and vodkas. This Apinya is a Thai inspired gin that really hits the mark.

Tuesday, 27 December 2022

Nightfall Aquila Cabernet Franc 2019


There is an inherent charm and calm about this Cabernet Franc. It slides through with ease and invites you to be whisked away. Yes, take me there. From the outset, it screams class. The packaging and the labeling are off the chart. Get the right light on the bottle and the label glistens like the night sky.

Turkey Flat Grenache Rosé 2022


Easily one of the best and most consistent Rosés in Australia. Strong form here once more. A fabulous drink, no questions asked. This was an easy buy during the festive season.

Mitchell Watervale Riesling 2022


Pretty scents of white florals with Jasmine highlights. Zippy and zesty, this is a great drink for the money.

Monday, 26 December 2022

Paisley Maeve Shiraz Cabernet 2019


We're stepping into the big time now at Paisley. A big, weighty bottle is a step up from the others in the Paisley range, as is the more visually attractive label. All deservedly so given this is the flagship. 

Gundog Estate Hilltops Shiraz No.2 2021


It's great to see two Hilltops Shiraz from the same winemaker showcasing the vineyards he gets access to. This No.2 Shiraz is clearly much more aromatic than its No.1 sibling. The presence of this wine appeals to me more than the No.1 too. It's great gear for $35.

Hart and Hunter The Remparts Semillon 2021


Charge at your seafood platter with this. It's go time for a fresh and zesty Semillon. 

Gundog Estate Hilltops Shiraz No.1 2021


Dense and dark, a brooding medium-bodied Hilltops No. 1 Shiraz from Gundog Estate.

Hart and Hunter Vanessa Vale Shiraz 2021


Attractive aromas and meaty bones. A steak and fries will do the job with this beauty thank you very much.

Friday, 23 December 2022

Miss Zilm Shiraz Malbec 2021


Keeda Zilm says that every Clare Valley winery should produce a Shiraz Malbec blend. Coming from someone with vast experience in the region, those are words worth noting. An impressive red, it joins an array of whites under the Miss Zilm label.

Hesketh Regional Selections Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2021


A fruit-forward Cabernet that sees older oak, this is an easy go-to. In fact, all the Hesketh new releases have been very tidy. They are worth grabbing given the price point too. The approachability is the shining light with this Cabernet. 

Paisley Boombox Shiraz 2020


The Boombox Shiraz 2020 is playing some deep beats. Dense and layered just the way winemaker Derek Fitzgerald likes to present his red wines - and mix his tunes when in the DJ box.

Paisley Six Strings Tempranillo 2022


Wonderfully fragrant, this Tempranillo from Paisley Wines has some get up and go. Just add pizza or pasta for maximum enjoyment.

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

Alkimi Wild Dreams Syrah Marsanne 2022


Great colour! A Syrah Marsanne blend, the vibrance of the hue is eye-catching. It's a smart wine capturing two not so common bedfellows.

Hesketh Regional Selections Riesling 2022


The summer of Riesling at Qwine HQ is going gangbusters. What a ripping vintage 2022 has been for the variety! This is a more than respectable release from Hesketh. 

Hesketh Regional Selections Fiano 2022


The delicate textural presence of this Clare Valley Fiano is ticking the boxes big time.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Alkimi Wild Dreams Pinot Noir 2022


Whole bunch Pinot Noir in a clear bottle with a cork seal. Alkimi's Stu Dudine brings a little funk factor as he tends to do with ease. This will take a chill on warmer days adding to its bag of tricks. A summertime red if you will. Yes!

Paisley Linen Fiano 2022


Lunchtime wine. The approachability of these Paisley Wines never ceases to impress. This Fiano is sourced from the Adelaide Hills and tosses a blanket of texture across the palate to lure you in.

Jansz Tasmania Vintage Cuvée 2018


Load up your festive cheer with this fabulous vintage Tasmanian sparkling. I'll have another glass pronto, please.

Hesketh Lost Weekend Chardonnay 2022


The approachability, shape and reliability at the price point reflect the quality of the making and the consistency across the range. This is an easy-going Limestone Coast Chardonnay for your drinking pleasure.

Sunday, 18 December 2022

Brash Higgins Ripple 2022


We're in peak barbecue season people and a bottle of this Brash Higgins Ripple under your wing is a recipe for sheer happiness. What a beauty! It's joyous. It's juicy. It's a riot of fun.

Jansz Tasmania Late Disgorged Vintage Cuvée 2014


Jansz's Late Disgorged Vintage Cuvée 2014 has been held back to age on lees for an extra four years. The added complexity that the additional time has given this wonderful sparkling is telling. It's just another example of why consumers should drink more Australian sparkling rather than French imports.

Hesketh Lobethal Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2021


If you like a little oak in your Chardonnay, head down this way. From the Adelaide Hills subregion of Lobethal, I like it.

Paisley Velvet Grenache 2021


Raspberries meet pretty scents of violets and blueberries. Another beauty from Paisley Wines that is such an easy drop to kick back with.

Yalumba The Steeple Shiraz 2018

The Steeple is a biodynamic Shiraz from the Barossa's Light Pass sub-region planted in 1919. 

Friday, 16 December 2022

Golden Grove Estate Shiraz 2021


Cool climate Shiraz smashing it deluxe. Ray Costanzo is in a purple patch at the moment. His wines are surging and then some. This Shiraz nails it and speaks of the region. For $35, you are drinking very well.

Tim Smith MGS 2022


You had me at burgers and pizza night. Wrap your lips around this cracker. A blend of Mataro, Grenache and Shiraz, it's three of Tim Smith's loves in one bottle.

Hesketh Regional Selections Sauvignon Blanc 2022


A bit more serious than its Bright Young Things sibling, you can tell from the mouthfeel that this has its game face on.

Hesketh Bright Young Things Sauvignon Blanc 2022


Good, clean refreshment for 15 bucks. Tropical fruit aplenty, it's a crowd pleaser for sure. 

Hesketh Rules of Engagement Pinot Grigio 2022


Roll this in your swag or caravan ready for your summer camping trip. It's an easy drink sure to please.

Hesketh Wild At Heart Rosé 2022


Wild at Heart because we all are sometimes. A no-fuss, uncomplicated Rosé. 

Thursday, 15 December 2022

Hart and Hunter Ablington Shiraz 2021


A single vineyard Shiraz from Hart & Hunter that needs a decant or a little time tucked away. Do this and you'll be rewarded handsomely.

Oakridge 864 Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


This is top-tier Cabernet. Cool climate excellence in a glass. Yarra Valley bliss all the way.

Oliver's Taranga Corrina's Shiraz Cabernet 2021


A big McLaren Vale red. A blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, this calls for Sunday night roasts. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2022

Tim Smith Bugalugs Grenache 2022


Juicy, earthy and right in the slot for some Barossa Grenache deliciousness. It nails the price point too for those seeking an easy, approachable wine. 

The Wine Journal 2023


A new book from Andrew Caillard MW and wine writer Angus Hughson has hit the shelves ready for your holiday reading. Quite a different take on a traditional "wine book", this journal is precisely that - a collection of stories and tasting notes. With the intention of releasing a new edition each year, this will prove to be a serious reference collection as time goes on.

Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Hart and Hunter 75 Days Chardonnay 2021


75 Days Chardonnay. I write this and there are 12 days til Christmas. Maybe Christmas has come early? This is slick and super delicate. Sliding through with absolute ease, I could get very comfortable here. And maybe I just did...