Australia and New Zealand Wine Companion: 2000
Paperback - 538 pages ( 3 January, 2000)
The customary remarks with which to preface discussions of Antipodean wines include those exclaiming at how few years it has taken for this youthful industry to find itself competing at the very highest level with the greatest wines in the world. Consider them said. James Halliday, in the 2000 edition of his reliable and authoritative Wine Companion, Australia and New Zealand also takes the maturity and perfection of the best Oz / NZ wines for granted. His grading system for wineries runs to five stars ("Outstanding winery regularly producing exemplary wines"), while for individual vintages he goes even further: five wine glasses signify 94-97 out of 100--"As close to perfection as the real world will allow". (98-100 is an unachievable ideal.)
Restricting himself to the top 20% of Australian and New Zealand wines, James Halliday can afford to be generous. Sensibly listing wineries alphabetically by name only, rather than, say, by region, which can be confusing, he profiles each establishment briefly and succinctly, listing and rating the vintages, as well as giving useful information such as contacts and opening hours. (These lists are useful to those on the spot at least: it's interesting how many of even the major wineries depend to a large extent on cellar door and direct mail sales.) Food partnerships are suggested, not as fixed rules but as additional, "subliminal" indications of wine styles. He can be quirky, too. Even where he disapproves of the wines, something can be rescued. A case in point would be the unfortunate Jackson's Hill winery, where the wines are judged "not exhilarating" but "Jackson's Hill does produce the most marvellous home-made chocolates I have tasted in a long time". --Robin Davidson
Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand
Hardcover - 416 pages ( 4 March, 1999)
Another atlas-format work, this time by the most influential voice of the Australian wine scene, James Halliday. This time there is less focus on the maps (which are rather simple), and more on the different producers (within each region there is a review of the leading domaines). Nicely illustrated and a useful resource for anyone planning a trip to antipodean wine country.
The art and science of wine
James Halliday, Hugh Johnson
Mitchell Beazley, London, 1992 (ISBN 1 85732 422 6).