04, November 2022

The sixth annual James Halliday Grenache Challenge tasted and benchmarked a record 160 Grenache wines from around Australia, celebrating the strength and diversity of the variety.

Proudly hosted by the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association each October, the Challenge tastes and benchmarks Grenache wines from across Australia, encouraging an honest gauge of our country's Grenache winemaking form and recognising styles and movements developing across the industry.

In what was a tight race, Mandoon Estate from WA’s Swan Valley was awarded the top spot for its 2021 Mandoon Estate Discovery Series Grenache.

2022 McLaren Vale Wine Show Chair of Judges Andrew Thomas praised the compelling quality of entries showcasing a range of diverse styles and the continued evolution of Grenache wines.

“The rise and rise of Australian Grenache can be witnessed by another year of record entries for the 2022 James Halliday Grenache Challenge” said Mr Thomas. “Wines from South Australia dominated the entries and the also the Gold medals awarded, however it was a wine from the Swan Valley, WA that got the nod from the judges as the most outstanding wine of the competition.”

“The entries showcased a range of diverse styles with the most compelling wines demonstrating the continued evolution of the style, showing bright florals and red fruit aromatics combined with a deliciously savoury texture and bright acidity. It is clear that the 2021 vintage was particularly well suited to this more contemporary style with the majority of the top wines hailing from this vintage.”

Mr Thomas praised the Mandoon Estate 2021 Discovery Series Grenache as displaying “a compelling vitality, intensity and concentration all within a light to medium weight frame, finishing with a bright acidity and impeccable fine chalky tannins. Special mention must also go to the two runners-up wines, the Peter Lehmann Wines 2021 The Barossan Grenache and the Serafino 2021 Reserve Grenache from McLaren Vale.”

View the full list of 2022 James Halliday Grenache Challenge results here.