We’re honoured to make the Halliday Wine Companion Top 100 Wineries of 2023!
The Halliday Wine Companion Top 100 Wineries is a celebration of the best Australian producers of right now.
“…this a list of producers who know, in both their heart and in their head, that consumers don’t owe them a living. This is a list of producers who are prepared to stake their reputation on every single wine they release.” – Campbell Mattinson.
Wineries have been carefully selected by chief editor, Campbell Mattinson with a strict selection criteria:
Wineries had to have submitted to the Companion in recent years
Quality, across the current range, had to be as close to guaranteed as possible
High scoring wines in a producer’s current range are of absolute relevance, but so is consistency across the entire range
“What I love about Mount Langi Ghiran is that you can drink both up and down, so to speak, the price list and still drink good, characterful wine, or better, every step of the way. The star is overwhelmingly shiraz, served spicy and distinctive, though cabernet and riesling also have their moments. But any range with Cliff Edge Shiraz ($35), Billi Billi Shiraz ($20), both of which are currently very good, as well as some seriously good shiraz wines at the top end, absolutely deserves a place in this Top 100 list.“ – Campbell Mattinson.
Join us on the 14th of October for an entertainment filled afternoon along Rotundone Road, visiting Mount Langi Ghiran, Mountainside Wines and Dogrock Winery. Showcasing the best examples of what cool climate wines can offer, gain exclusive access to wine, food and live music at the wineries along the Rotundone Road. Experience the aromas and tastes of the Rotundone Road, where the scents of the bush embrace you and our cool climate wines will inspire you.
Leisurely move between all the wineries along the Rotundone Road. Stop in at Dogrock to hear local singer/songwriter Donna Maddison, as you enjoy a pizza from local pizzeria Wood Fired Pizza 2 You.
Make your way to Mountainside Wines for Chicken with an Asian slaw and asian style dressing, tapas or pulled meat rolls and listen to The OAFs play classic hits overlooking the vineyards.
Venture your way to our property at Mount Langi Ghiran for a selection of estate grown Langi lamb meals where the Brother’s Bishop Band will play a mix of original, jazz and popular music.
WHEN: 14th October 2023 TIME: From 11am until 4pm WHERE: Mount Langi Ghiran | 80 Vine Rd, Bayindeen VIC 3375 COST: $25 per person gaining access to all three wineries | Food additional
September 1st 2023, marked the release of our Icon Mast Shiraz, vintage 2020.
The Mast is our finest wine released from vintage 2020 and has been patiently ageing in bottle, awaiting this special day.
A Tribute to Trevor Mast
First put together in 2012, the Mast Shiraz is a tribute to the late Trevor Mast, a legend of the Australian wine scene and pioneer of cool-climate Shiraz. It is thanks to Trevor’s foresight, that our vineyards showcase the ultimate expression of cool climate Shiraz, as is demonstrated in the 2020 Mast.
Fruit for this wine is solely hand-picked and sourced exclusively from a single block on our Mount Langi Ghiran Estate Vineyard, House Block 4. This block was planted by Trevor Mast himself some 26 years ago.
In the Vineyard
While across the board 2020 was a challenging year for the industry, at Mount Langi we had some excellent, albeit small parcels, come off this premium block at the end of the season, showcasing the perfect balance of fruit maturity and flavour. Overcast conditions in the Grampians during ripening resulted in an extended hang time, especially for this east-facing block. While this resulted in smaller make sizes, quality, texture and the earthiness this block produces, were not compromised.
Utilising 70% whole berry and 30% whole bunch in small open top fermenters, the wine was plunged and pumped-over three times daily during fermentation, averaging two weeks on skins. Natural yeasts were used. Following primary ferment, the wine was pressed to tank to settle and transferred to barrel to complete malolactic fermentation. Our 2020 Mast saw 18 months ageing in French barriques, 40% new.
Mount Langi Ghiran winemakers Adam Louder and Elizabeth Ladhams.
The 2020 vintage is the fourth year the Mast Shiraz has been made by Chief Winemaker, Adam Louder, and is a wine to which Adam will always have a strong personal connection, having been mentored by the man himself in his early years at Mount Langi Ghiran.
This special wine has already received critic recognition, with a 93 point score in the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion, 2023.
This is a substantial wine, warm with alcohol, soft in texture and yet inherently complex. – Campbell Mattinson | 2024 Halliday Wine Companion, 2023
We are delighted to present our 2024 Halliday Wine Companion results.
This year, Mount Langi Ghiran was once again recognised as a Top 5-Red Star winery with exceptional results across the range. This means that we have been recognised as an outstanding winery, regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity, holding a 5-star rating for the previous three years (i.e. 4 years in total at 5 stars).
An honourable mention to two of our finest performing wines; the 2021 Cliff Edge Cabernet Merlot and the 2021 Billi Billi Shiraz, receiving 94 and 93 points respectively.
2021 Cliff Edge Cabernet Merlot
“It’s hard to imagine a more perfectly structured wine. It has both fruit and oak flavour in good measure, too, but the curl of tannin and the deft line of acidity is really quite something. In truth, at this early stage, cedar-like oak seems slightly too heavy, combined as it is with medium-weight (at most) blue and black berried fruits. But time will set things right, and then we’ll have a beautiful wine on our hands.” Campbell Mattinson | Halliday Wine Companion 2024
2021 Billi Billi Shiraz
“Mostly (83%) Grampians fruit, though there are contributions from Heathcote, Swan Hill and Bendigo. This wine is often a happy hunting ground for value, but this release is a particularly good version of it. It’s alive with peppery spice and fluid with plum-shot flavour, and while it’s medium in weight (at most) it feels silken and satisfying. The spice notes here, wow, they’re gorgeous.” Campbell Mattinson | Halliday Wine Companion 2024
2022 Cliff Edge Riesling
“It’s a slatey, grippy style (in need of a little time most probably), with grapefruit, apple and lime notes charging throughout. It has more presence, and indeed personality, than your average riesling but, also, a little less length. It finishes dry, chalky and talc-like, all positives. Bet is that it will improve over the next 12–24 months.” Campbell Mattinson | Halliday Wine Companion 2024
Billi Billi Rosé 2022
“Rosé made with 75/25% sangiovese/shiraz. A dry, savoury style, pale crimson in colour with a slight copper tinge. Expressive aromatics lead to a direct, mouth-watering, refreshing palate, all pomegranate, citrus, fragrant herbs and cherry. It’s fairly slight but it uses dryness to its keen advantage.” Campbell Mattinson | Halliday Wine Companion 2024
Mast Shiraz 2020
“Whole bunches (30%) and 40% new French oak. This is a substantial wine, warm with alcohol, soft in texture and yet inherently complex. Game, tinned corn, roasted plum and cedar notes come flecked with twiggy spice, saltbush and, at a stretch, black pepper. It will be enjoyed for its warmth and volume but it’s the game and (whole) bunchy spice notes that are the key here.” Campbell Mattinson | Halliday Wine Companion 2024
These accolades are a testament to the unerring passion and efforts of our dedicated winemaking and viticulture teams, led by Adam Louder and Damien Sheehan.
Victoria, like much of south-eastern Australia, recently experienced one of its wettest springs on record. Some areas in the state recorded over 1000mm of rainfall in 2022. Luckily, Mount Langi Ghiran was spared from such extreme weather conditions given its position in the west of Victoria sitting on the Great Divide. “Access to wet vineyards was limited and disease pressure was very high. Our position in the west of Victoria and sitting on the Great Divide kept the temperatures sufficiently cool and allowed free water to drain away such that we emerged into summer with healthy canopies and clean crops. However, early hail events and unstable weather during flowering has reduced our yields, probably a positive outcome for quality as the bunches will be more open.”
DAMIEN SHEEHAN | CHIEF VITICULTURALIST
Despite the challenging weather conditions, Chief Winemaker Adam Louder advised that the 2023 vintage will be one to remember. When asked about which wines to watch out for, Louder singled out the Cliff Edge Pinot Gris as a standout, with the white wines as a whole being consistently impressive. “Despite the tough conditions, we are confident the red wines will display elegance and spice – representative of the season and our site. The whites in particular are showing great vibrancy and drive. We are especially pleased with the Pinot Gris, and have put together a blend that provides texture, subtle fruit
and a crisp finish.”
ADAM LOUDER | CHIEF WINEMAKER
Overall, despite a wet spring, the Mount Langi Ghiran 2023 vintage will be one to remember, with the Cliff Edge Pinot Gris being the pick of the season.
Our Winemaker Adam Louder recently sat down with Neil Butler from Grampians Wines to talk all things Mount Langi Ghiran! You can listen to Adam’s podcast via the link below to learn a little more about our region, Adam and most importantly, our wines.
We recently sat down with Adams’s right-hand woman, our Winemaker, Liz Ladhams. Forming part of our Q&A series, Liz certainly has an impressive career history, prior to falling into the wine industry, one that’s worth the read…!
Where are you from and how did you start off your career (pre winemaking)?
I’m originally a Queenslander, born on the Darling Downs… where, while there’s vines up there these days, when I was growing up, the idea of working in wine wouldn’t have occurred to me in my wildest dreams. Upon leaving school, the world of Economics and International Relations seemed to be my calling and with that, I found myself in London where I stayed for the best part of a decade. While in the UK I worked for both JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley – I rode the roller coaster of the Millennium Bug, the DotCom bubble (bursting), 9/11 and the London bombings. I learnt a lot about resilience and adaptability during those years.
Returning to Australia in 2007 brought me to Melbourne, also with Morgan Stanley. Markets were at an all-time high… but the laws of gravity apply to markets just like anything else – what goes up, must come down… enter the GFC? Banks were very much out of favour but again, resilience, adaptability, and a healthy dose of creativity helped me see out those difficult times. And without the tough times, I doubt I would have appreciated the good times quite as much as I did. My job took me to New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and beyond. I was very privileged to be able to explore the world with my work.
What drove you to move into winemaking/viticulture?
It was living the in UK and spending weekends and holidays in Europe where my interest in wine developed. Bordeaux was a favourite weekend escape and the journey has continued from there! While I had a ball and learnt a lot during my 20 years in banking, there was always an inkling that “making something” was what my soul needed.
Good food and good wine are passions and what greater pleasure than turning a passion into a career. And the journey hasn’t disappointed. In addition to pursuing a passion, the other great joy winemaking gives me is being so completely aligned with the changing of the seasons – these days my year is measured by the life cycle of the vines (and no longer the posting of quarterly results).
What is it like to work alongside Adam Louder? What have you learnt?
Adam is a phenomenally talented and instinctive winemaker. He would never tell you that… in fact, he doesn’t say a lot in general! But observing and working alongside Adam as he goes about the business of making outstanding wine, provides an education you won’t find in any text book.
The number one lesson from Adam is to trust my instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, change it. If it does feel right – don’t question it, go for it!
Which are your two favourite wines you have made with Adam?
Putting together the first Talus Cabernet out of the 2019 vintage was sublime. It’s the first straight premium Cabernet bottled off the property for more than a decade. It’s in this wine Adam’s experience in both Bordeaux and Napa and working with top-shelf Cabernet shines through – and it literally left me speechless.
I’ll also always have a soft spot for the 2019 Langi Shiraz – not only is it an exceptional wine, I worked that vintage as a cellar hand, foot-stomping, plunging and pumping over the ferments three times a day. Having the opportunity to be able to then put the wine together as a winemaker, under Adam’s watchful eye and guidance, was an honour I wouldn’t have expected when I was knee deep in a ferment in 2019!
What makes MLG special to you?
Anyone who has visited MLG knows it’s a spectacular location, but it’s the material we get to work with, the fruit produced from the vines, in the soil, in the shadow of Mount Langi Ghiran that you can’t find anywhere else in Australia. It is a privilege just to be able to walk through the Old Block, let alone being allowed to make some of Australia’s best Shiraz from those 50-year-old vines – is there anything more special?
What excites you about the Australian wine industry?
I believe we’re in one of the best countries in the world to make wine. We have ready access to world-class resources and research, and the flexibility to be able to pursue the path that we believe is right for our site and region. Climate change has had devastating effects on the country, but with that, also opportunity. And to hark back to the resilience and adaptability I learnt during my previous career, we’re witnessing plenty of that in the Australian wine industry right now. The smoke-taint research that came out as a result of the 2020 fires has led the world. We’re also seeing some exceptional wines being made from “non-traditional” grape varieties originally from Southern Italy, Portugal and Spain that are more heat and drought tolerant. In Australia we have a culture of constantly learning, adapting to each season’s new challenges, and we’re supported and advised by industry bodies – that’s an exciting place to be.
We are thrilled to share our 2023 Halliday Wine Companion results with you. We were again awarded a 5 Red Star winery rating along with incredible scores by Jeni Port. Congratulations to our dedicated winemaking and viticulture team Adam Louder, Liz Ladhams, Damien Sheehan and Darren Rathbone.
2020 Cliff Edge Shiraz – 96 Points
Whole-berry wild fermentation in concrete, both small open-topped and large closed fermenters. Left 14 days on skins, matured 14 months in French barriques (30% new). Often cited as a benchmark cool-climate shiraz, there’s no denying this is yet another impressive, elegant shiraz from a strong vintage. Boasts refined richness and a depth of flavour that is well-matched to a vivacious personality. Fruit is the star, with flecks of pepper and spice assisted by plump tannins. That’s a WOW!
Whole berries, wild fermented in small open-top fermenters, left 2-3 weeks on skins, matured 18 months in French barriques (30% new). A wine guaranteed to make you smile, highlighting the beauty of Grampians cabernet with a little help from some friendly merlot. Deeply coloured and concentrated in the glass, it launches into a beautifully balanced display of plum, mulberry and cassis, all ripe and warmly spiced with a hint of leafiness. Nicely measured tannins to the finish.
Destemmed fruit, whole-berry fermented, matured in used French barriques. Super-juicy and vibrant in colour and taste, the winemaker has given due respect to the young vines (4yo) and delivered a fruit-fuelled little ripper. Generous red cherries, plums, anise and pepper explode across the palate. Tannins are soft and supple. Bravo!
NOT YET RELEASED
2021 Billi Billi Pinot Gris– 91 Points
Fermented cool in stainless steel. Love the delicacy on display here, the gentle honeysuckle notes, cut pear, honeydew melon and lightly spiced apple. Racy acidity is softened just a little with a splash of sweetness. Works well.
Whole-bunch pressed to tank and fermented cool. With 9g/L total acidity, you can’t miss the assertive nature of this young riesling. It’s probably not an early-drinking option for many, so consider some down time before opening. The delicacy of the fruit just being released now, white flowers, jasmine, grapefruit, lime zest and apple, will develop nicely.