Halliday Wine Companion awards highest honor to McLaren Vale winery
MCLAREN VALE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (August 8, 2019) – James Halliday, the leading authority on Australian wine, announced the Yangarra 2016 High Sands Grenache as “Wine of the Year” at the Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020.
In selecting winners for the annual awards, Halliday and his tasting panel pinpoint the best Australian wines from a pool of several thousand featured in the annual Halliday Wine Companion guide. With categories that include the Wine of the Year, Halliday and his team choose high performers from a range of criteria to offer a true representation of the nation’s greatest names in wine.
Described by Halliday as “the king” of Australian Grenache, the recent recognition for Yangarra’s High Sands Grenache builds on momentum from previous years. In 2016, Halliday named Peter Fraser “Winemaker of the Year” and last year the 2015 High Sands Grenache was one of Halliday’s top wines in the “Other Red” category. Additionally, Fraser was nominated for “Winemaker of the Year” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s annual Wine Star Awards in 2018.
With this accolade, the High Sands Grenache joins an impressive circle of winners that includes Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz and Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir. The recognition is consistent with the rising global interest in Grenache and solidifies its place on the world stage alongside classic international varieties.
The High Sands Grenache is the pinnacle wine in Yangarra’s southern Rhône-inspired portfolio. It is sourced from a 4.2-acre old-vine block that sits at the highest elevation on the organically and biodynamically farmed estate vineyard. These gnarly bush vines were planted in 1946 and dry-grown in North Maslin White Sands that date back over than 50 million years.
Winemaker Peter Fraser has been the driving force behind Yangarra since joining the estate in 2001. “Since my first vintage at Yangarra, the Grenache from this block has always shown remarkable character,” Fraser explains. “We released the first vintage of High Sands in 2005 and I’ve always felt it was an exceptional wine.” Continues Fraser, “Grenache is grabbing the attention of the wine community for its ability to show a true sense of place and subtleties within the winemaking.”
For the last 20 years, Fraser has worked closely alongside vineyard manager Michael Lane, who comments, “I’ve come to know the individual traits of the High Sands block and feel very privileged to be the custodian of these vines well into the future.”
Jackson Family Wines, the family-owned collection of esteemed wineries and vineyard estates throughout the world, acquired the Yangarra property in 2001. “We are grateful to Barbara Banke and the Jackson family for their clear vision to make world-class wines,” Fraser explains. “I consider myself fortunate to work within that ethos and for the confidence that they have shown in us.”
About Yangarra Estate Vineyard
Yangarra is a certified organic and biodynamically farmed vineyard in McLaren Vale, South Australia. Devoted to southern Rhône varieties, the wines are produced solely from the 220-acre estate, where bush-vine Grenache is the keystone variety. Acquired by Jackson Family Wines in 2001, Yangarra continues to push the limits for world-class wine through its sensitive approach to winemaking and inextricable link to McLaren Vale.