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James Halliday Award-Winning Wines by Jester Hill Wines

James Halliday Wine Companion Results

The James Halliday Wine Companion 2024 results are in and we’re excited to share our achievements with you.

Our wines were tasted by Mike Bennie with our winemaker, Michael Bourke, achieving six wines greater than 90 points including our 2019 Roussanne, 2019 Shiraz Roussanne, 2016 Shiraz, 2018 Shiraz, 2018 Petit Verdot and our amazing 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. Jester Hill Wines also achieved a 4 Star rating – Very good producer of wines with class and character. Will have either one wine rated at 95 points or above, or two (or more) at 90 or above.


Generally, the most accurate method of judging a selection of wines is through a blind tasting and a 100 point rating system. Wines begin with a solid total of 100 points, with points removed for faults or shortcomings in components such as clarity and colour, the nose/bouquet and ultimately the palate. A blind tasting of these wines ensures that James Halliday cannot show bias to any wines, and all submissions are considered fairly. To any wine enthusiast, this might sound like the greatest job ever, however, Halliday can taste up to 7,000 wines in the lead up to the release of the Wine Companion. It is actually quite a gruelling task!

Wines rating a score of 90 points or above are considered to be Highly Recommended, Outstanding, and Exceptional depending on the bracket. These wines would also be likely to win a Gold or Silver medal at any reputable wine show.

The 2024 Halliday Wine Companion Scores + Tasting Notes by Mike Bennie

Touchstone Shiraz 2018 | 92 points – Silver medal

Matured in 70/30% American and French oak barrels. A full-figured red of slick texture, concentrated inky fruit, spice flavours and lavish wood seasoning. Scents of cola, vanilla, coconut and ripe plum with whiffs of clove and cedar. Sweet and ripe fruit to taste with layers of coconut, chocolate and cola on stewed plum and raspberry jelly. There’s a lot going on here and it’s distinctly a big, bold, old-school style. In saying that, you can see the appeal – just strap in for the ride.

Touchstone Petit Verdot 2018 | 92 points – Silver medal

Inky, potent red wine of cuddly texture and supple tannins. Scents of ripe plum, mulberry and blackcurrant jam with savoury elements of salted licorice and sage leaf. Bold and very spicy to taste, thick set with dense, dark berry, faint raisin and dark chocolate flavours gently spiked with saltbush and sage, again. Even and well balanced despite the density, this is a good rendition of the variety.

Touchstone Shiraz 2016 | 91 points – Silver medal

An inky, potent red wine with a full flourish of ripe, stewed berry fruits, salted plum, licorice and black pepper characters. Soft and supple on the palate, with ripe red berry fruit layered with salted licorice and fine, feathery tannins. It feels easy-drinking, albeit in a bolder, richer, sweet-hearted wine style. Harmonious feel too. In a good place.

Touchstone Roussanne 2019 | 91 points – Silver medal

Fermented and matured in Hungarian and French oak barrels. Scents of nashi pear, cashew, clove and woody spices – very aromatic and immediately appealing. Flavours lean into that nashi pear character with layers of clove spice, a squeeze of lime, some ginger and quinine in the mix, too. Squeaky texture runs long and tight through a persistent finish. An intriguing expression.

Shiraz Roussanne 2019 | 90 points – Silver medal

Shiraz co-fermented with 4% roussanne. Fermented and matured in a mix of Hungarian and French oak. Medium- to full-bodied expression. Dark cherry, cinnamon spice and kirsch aromas lifted with sweet, floral scents of jasmine and frangipani. The palate has an inherent sweetness, more kirsch and sweet spices, and a lick of stone fruit, too. Tannin feels gravelly and grippy, pulling in the fruitiness of the wine and the finish is cool and reserved. A pleasing, exotic red wine.

Touchstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 | 90 points – Silver medal

Aged in French and American oak. A mature release at the ultra-full flavoured end of the spectrum. Slick texture, plush tannins and a strong sense of very ripe fruit, sweet spice and nutty savouriness. Inky and concentrated, the wine is breathy with booze-soaked plum and berries, ripe, rich currant and raisin characters and licks of malt, bourbon, cola and dark chocolate. It’s at the upper end of potency and alcohol but has mellowed into its frame nicely. Will continue to mature well for five or so years.

Cabernet Merlot (Jane Foole, TO BE RELEASED) 2019 | 89 points – Bronze medal

In that ‘luncheon Clarets of old’ zone, this delivers a medium-weight, succulent and fresh-feeling red wine of berry fruitiness, cool, minty herbal elements, white pepper and a gentle seasoning of cinnamon/clove woody spice. Lively, almost refreshing, vibrant and clean with a good sense of tension and vibrancy throughout. Not overly complex, but an appealing drink.

Touchstone Chardonnay 2022 | 89 points – Bronze medal

A well-balanced albeit relatively simple expression of barrel-fermented chardonnay. Offers scents of peach and vanilla cream, cinnamon and Parisian almonds. The texture is supple and gently creamy with acidity perky and subtle underneath stone fruits and more vanilla cream characters. Everything is well integrated, flavoursome and yet fresh, set to medium-weight and with good drinkability inherent. Easy as.

‘2 Fools’ Trinculo 2021 | 88 points – Bronze medal

This holds 90/10% cabernet/merlot. It’s a juicy and fresh little number, easy-drinking and straight up and down. All blueberry fruitiness, a lick of woody spice, a sniff of mint and eucalyptus and a good dusting of white pepper. Vibrant feeling in the palate, with fine tannins shaping things gently. A simple red with good drinkability that’s pitched as a quaffer and does the job.

Touchstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 | 88 points – Bronze medal

A supple and rich cabernet with ripe plum, mulberry, truffle and brambly herb elements in scents and flavours. The palate has softness and a rounded, plush feel, the tannins silky and the wine showing good concentration and gentle secondary nutty/savoury characters. The finish lifts on a little too obvious tang of lemony acidity, but around that, a gentle wine of concentration and quietly maturing feel.

Roland the Farter 2021 | 87 points – Bronze medal

A blend of 90/10% cabernet sauvignon/roussanne. The cabernet sees only four days on skins and the roussanne portion is semisweet. It’s a light, fresh and vibrant red wine. Jolly with red berry fruitiness, sweet spice, blood orange elements and a lilt of white chocolate. Scents and flavours are similar, the wine slippery, simple, bright and vibrant. Some edgy herbal elements present as a little distraction. It’s a wine built for drinking chilled, which it does reasonably well.

Touchstone Sauvignon Blanc 2022 | 87 points – Bronze medal

A light and zippy expression with straightforward citrus and green herbal elements strongly defining the wine’s flavours and aromas. Acidity is high, the wine perky and very refreshing. It’s pleasing, well made, elementary and easy to get stuck into.

Secco Rosato 2021 | 86 points – Bronze medal

A pleasing, zingy, dryer-style rosé. It’s fresh and vibrant, tangy with lemony acidity and a little coarse in texture. In a way that’s dryness too, so we’ll go with that. Red cherry, a bit of red plum and some brined green olive characters in bouquet and palate. It’s a simple, decent drink.

Triboulet 2017 | 85 points – 3.5 Glasses (84-85 points)

A pleasing, zingy, dryer-style rosé. It’s fresh and vibrant, tangy with lemony acidity and a little coarse in texture. In a way that’s dryness too, so we’ll go with that. Red cherry, a bit of red plum and some brined green olive characters in bouquet and palate. It’s a simple, decent drink.

Touchstone Sparkling Roussanne 2018 | 85 points – 3.5 Glasses (84-85 points)

An unusual profile for sparkling wine that may excite some. The general feeling is sour-sweet, leaning into sour fruit characters with an overriding greengage element. Sour quince, green apple, lime juice and green herbs. Bubbles are very tight, almost soft drink-like, the wine a bit cloying in texture, too. A savoury element finishes the wine gently. It’s a curious drink.

Triboulet 2016 | 84 points – 3.5 Glasses (84-85 points)

Sour-sweet red wine of washy texture and diffuse fruit character. Offers up some scents of sour plum, mangrove and white pepper. The flavour profile leans into sourness with soft plum, salted licorice and leafy basil characters in the mix. Beetroot and rhubarb notes, too. Zingy, lemony tang finishes the wine – poking its head out of the wash of stewed fruits, et al. Feels past its prime and decaying beyond the scope of easy drinkability.