Australia’s Best Chardonnay and Cabernet awarded in James Halliday challenge

In celebration of the world’s most popular two grape varieties, last night the highest-pointed Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in Australia were crowned for the 2023 James Halliday Australian Chardonnay and Cabernet Challenge.

The Evans & Tate 2021 Redbrook Estate Chardonnay from Margaret River and the Forest Hill Vineyard 2022 Block 5 Cabernet Sauvignon from Great Southern were crowned trophy winners, both rated 97 points, from a total of 615 entries across 34 Australian wine regions.

Showcasing Australia’s outstanding regional diversity, the James Halliday Australian Chardonnay and Cabernet Challenge combines the two varieties to be judged simultaneously. This year, judging took place at Hubert Estate in the Yarra Valley.

Chair of judges, Adam Wadewitz, said, “It was great to lead such a talented team once again for the 2023 James Halliday Australian Chardonnay and Cabernet Challenge. The judges found some real gems that highlight the best examples of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from across Australia. It was exciting to be judging some of the cooler vintages and noting that many of the awarded wines not only look good now but will reward those that can keep them in their cellar long enough.”

Challenge patron, James Halliday AM, said, “Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are an unlikely couple brought together because each is respected throughout the world of wine through the prism of fellow winemakers, of distributors and retailers, of collectors, of educators, and all those who simply enjoy a glass of great wine”.


22 ‘Best of Region’ Winners were awarded for wines achieving scores of 95 points or more.

The 2023 Chardonnay Challenge Regional Winners:

Adelaide Hills      Sidewood 2022 Signature Owen’s Chardonnay  – 96 points

Beechworth       Brokenwood Wines 2022 Indigo Vineyard Chardonnay – 96 points

Eden Valley       St Hugo 2022 Eden Valley Chardonnay – 95 points

Gippsland        Dirty Three Wines 2022 All the Dirts Chardonnay – 95 points

Hunter Valley      Brokenwood Wines 2022 Oakey Creek Vineyard Chardonnay – 95 points

King Valley        A. Rodda 2022 Baxendale Vineyard Chardonnay – 95 points

Macedon Ranges     Shadowfax 2022 Midhill Chardonnay – 95 points

Margaret River     Evans & Tate 2021 Redbrook Estate Chardonnay – 97 points

Mornington Peninsula     Paringa Estate 2021 The Paringa Chardonnay – 95 points

Orange          Swinging Bridge 2021 Caldwell Lane Chardonnay – 95 points

Tasmania         Derwent Estate 2020 Calcaire Chardonnay –  96 points

Tumbarumba      Brokenwood Wines 2021 Maragle Vineyard Chardonnay – 95 points

Yarra Valley       Oakridge 864 2021 Funder & Diamond Chardonnay – 96 points


The 2023 Cabernet Challenge Regional Winners:

Barossa Valley  Kaesler Wines 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 points

Clare Valley    Jim Barry Barry and Sons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon – 96 points

Coonawarra    Yalumba 2021 Sanctum Cabernet Sauvignon – 96 points

Geographe     Willow Bridge Estate Coat of Arms 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec – 95 points

Great Southern  Forest Hill Vineyard 2022 Block 5 Cabernet Sauvignon – 97 points

King Valley    Gapsted Estate Ballerina Canopy 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 points

Margaret River  Rivendell Estate 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 points

McLaren Vale   d’Arenberg 2021 The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon – 96 points

Yarra Valley    Thousand Candles 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 points

The full results are available at

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