Best of 2023 - QWine Reviews

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Best of 2023

2023 was another big year for this humble site and things continue to rumble along at full steam. 667 wine reviews were posted taking the all-time total to over 6550! 

I ventured to the Barossa Valley, Hunter Valley, Mudgee and Orange to press some flesh as well as meet a diverse array of producers whose wines I've never seen before. As always, I am grateful for the generous time winemakers give me to learn about their wines and their patch of dirt.

As I reflect on the last 12 months, one noticeable difference in the reviews has been the increased quality of wines that have come across the tasting bench. I'm most grateful for all samples that are sent but it is clear that my site and words are valued by an array of esteemed and proven producers with many newbies getting on board too. I really value and cherish these relationships - a most sincere thank you to you all!

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

Something I value highly is my independence and the sheer number of wines I get to review. I don't buy followers, you won't see me revealing some cleavage next to a bottle to increase the "likes" of a post or reel, there are no cringy dances to seek your favour and I certainly won't tell you a bottle is amazing simply because it landed on my doorstep. At Qwine we keep things honest and classy.

Above all, the thing I treasure most is the ability to taste wines from a significant number of small producers. Sure the commercial brands have their place but it's the small businesses that need to make things work. They have mortgages to pay, kids to put through school, food to put on the table. They need to make each vintage a success for these reasons and many more. Find them and get behind them. I guarantee if you make an appointment and seek them out when you are in their region, the tasting experience will be more powerful and memorable than those with the 'big guys'.

I'm often asked for recommendations to suit a budget or need, but consumers have an insatiable appetite for "the best". So, after wading through a deep pool once more in 2023, below is a list I have considered to be the best in their field.

Thanks again for your support and I wish you all the best for 2024 when we do it all again!



Qwine Reviews Best of 2023...

Best White Under $20 - El Desperado Pinot Grigio 2023

Best Red Under $20 - El Desperado Red Blend 2022

Soaking up the sun at Rancho Relaxo - Lyon's Will Riesling 2023

Get In My Belly - Pewsey Vale Riesling 2023

Can't Get Enough Award presented by Barry White - Yelland & Papps Vin de Soif 2022

Interest for days - Storm King Wine Co Vermentino 2021

New Kid on the Block - Yalumba Vine Vale Grenache Blanc 2023

Too cheap White - Byrne Farm Chardonnay 2022 (You should pay $45+ for this!)

Too cheap Red - ChaLou Pinot Noir 2022 (You should pay $45+ for this!)

Impress with something a little left of centre - Alkimi Marsanne 2021

Something awesome from a winery you may not have heard of - Amour Chardonnay 2021

Best Grenache (just coz I love the variety) - Yangarra Estate Ovitelli Grenache 2021 followed by Arila Gardens Sand Garden Grenache 2022

Best Alternate Variety White - Oliver's Taranga Fiano 2023

Best Alternate Variety Red - blu hen Montepulciano 2022

Most Consistent Producer - Yalumba. (The absolute quality, particularly of their premium red wines, is nothing short of brilliant)

Producer to Watch - Colmar Estate. Distinctive estate wines from Orange, NSW, grown at 970m above.

Deep Pockets White - Hoosegg Seven Heaven Chardonnay 2018

Deep Pockets Red - Torbreck The Laird 2018

Best Rosé - Huntington Estate Rosé 2023

Best White - Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2020 followed by Levantine Hill Optume Chardonnay 2020

Best Red - Thomas Wines Elenay Shiraz 2021 followed by Montalto Tuerong Pinot Noir 2022

Proxime Accessit (Runner Up) - Limefinger Solace Polish Hill River Riesling 2023

Best Wine of 2023 - Yalumba The Caley 2018

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