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Brokenwood Legend Iain Riggs Goes Out On Top With Halliday Wine Of The Year

By Thursday 6 August 2020No Comments

Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley is the toast of the Australian wine industry after 2018 Graveyard Shiraz was named Wine of the Year in the Halliday Wine Companion Awards announced online last night.

James says in the Wine Companion, “The 2018 vintage followed 2017’s lead, each devoid of rain, allowing winemakers to choose the picking date, not a date imposed by the weather.

“The result was the best wines since the golden year of 1965.

“After I had decided that this Graveyard was the Wine of the Year, Iain (Riggs) announced he was retiring on 30 June 2020, but he will remain on the board of directors.”

James was one of three Sydney lawyers who established Brokenwood in the late 1960s.

In 1983, Iain Riggs AM was headhunted to become Brokenwood’s first qualified winemaker.

“Iain’s wisdom has been the rock on which one of Australia’s best small to medium-sized wineries has been built, Graveyard Shiraz its flag-bearer,” James says.

James says he “wrestled with the conflict of interest issue”.

“But I left Brokenwood in 1983,” he says.

“It was my first child, viticulturally speaking, and I’ve got so many memories of the place – some humours, some moving, some wonderful.”

“2018 in the Hunter Valley was a fabulous vintage.

“Graveyard in particular has this silky power that immediately captures your attention. The tannin, acid, fruit triangle all come together tremendously well.”

Iain says, “The 2018 Graveyard follows a line of successful vintages but 2018 is actually the thirtieth release and it is a very, very special plot of dirt.”

The team behind the top wine also includes Stuart Hordern and Kate Sturgess. Keith Barry (and now daughter Katrina) is responsible for managing the old-vine site.

Henschke added to its many accolades, winning Winery of the Year. It comes just a few months after Hill of Grace was awarded 100 points by Nick Stock on

The awards were announced ahead of the release of the 2021 Wine Companion today.


Winery of the Year

Wine of the Year
Brokenwood 2018 Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz

Winemaker of the Year
Brett Grocke, Eperosa, Barossa

Best Value Winery of the Year
Best’s Wines, Grampians

Best New Winery
Varney Wines, McLaren Vale

Dark Horse of the Year
Yarran, Riverina

Varietal Winners…

Sparkling White/Rosé
House of Arras 2005 EJ Carr Late Disgorged

Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard Riesling 2019

Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillon 2014

Leeuwin Estate Margaret River Art Series Chardonnay 2017

Sauvignon Blanc
Flowstone Queen of The Earth 2018 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc

Other Whites & Blends
Stargazer 2019 Tupelo Tasmania

Sweet Wines
Lethbridge 2018 Botrytis Riesling TBA

Nocturne Carbunup 2019 SR Sangiovese Nebbiolo

Pinot Noir
Bannockburn 2017 Serre Geelong

Cabernet Sauvignon
Moss Wood 2016 Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet & Family
Mount Mary 2018 Quintet Yarra Valley

Brokenwood 2018 Graveyard Shiraz

Shiraz And/Or Grenache
Brothers At War 2018 Barossa Single Vineyard Grenache

Shiraz Viognier
Serrat 2019 Yarra Valley Shiraz Viognier

Other Reds
Mayer 2019 Yarra Valley Nebbiolo

Photo: Chris Elfes.

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