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Stella Bella
 
4 August 2022 | Stella Bella

Australia's Best Chardonnay

Stella Bella Wines cemented its place amongst Australia’s greatest chardonnay producers at this year's Halliday Wine Companion Awards after being awarded Australia’s Best Chardonnay for its 2020 Luminosa Chardonnay. Margaret River has a long-standing reputation for internationally acclaimed chardonnays and Luminosa, a single vineyard wine from Southern Margaret River is no exception, joining the elite with its pristine balance of fruit, power and elegance.

Fast becoming a powerhouse for Chardonnays with winemaker Luke Jolliffe at the helm, Stella Bella also received exceptional ratings for its Stella Bella and Suckfizzle Chardonnay, both also receiving top points 5 red stars.( other inclusions or changes here)

Every year, James Halliday and his tasting panel pinpoint the best Australian wines, winemakers and wineries with the winners announced at the wine industry’s night of nights, the Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

On receiving the award, Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe commented “we are exceptionally proud of this wine, and for the quality and style to be recognised by James and the Halliday team, it’s truly incredible. We make this wine from a single vineyard in the Boodjudup Valley within Southern Margaret River, we are very fortunate to have such a magnificent vineyard which can produce high quality fruit.

“The wine is a testament to the entire Stella Bella team. This level of quality is what we aspire to create. That is, make wines from single sites that are unique with unquestionable quality that will evolve over time and in your glass.”

This is the third time that Stella Bella has been awarded a Varietal Winner in the Halliday Wine Companion Awards after their Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon was awarded back-to-back Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend Awards at the 2019 and 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

Stella Bella has quietly garnered significant plaudits in recent years with Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe being a finalist in the 2020 Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year awards and Stella Bella being shortlisted for the Best Value Winery in the 2022 Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

Luminosa Chardonnay has built an impressive collection of rave reviews from some of the most esteemed wine critics throughout Australia over the last few years, adding to its iconic status.

2021 (pre-release)

  • 97 Points - Erin Larkin - Wine Advocate, July 2022

2020

  • Best Chardonnay in Australia - Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2023
  • 98 Points - James Halliday, Nov 2021
  • Halliday's Top 100 Wines of 2022
  • Gold Medal - Perth Royal Wine Awards 2021

2019

  • Platinum Medal + 97 Points - Decanter World Wine Awards 2020
  • 97 Points - Erin Larkin - Halliday Wine Companion 2022
  • Gold Medal - Perth Royal Wine Awards 2020
  • Gold Medal - Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2020

2018

  • 96 Points - James Halliday - Halliday Wine Companion 2021
  • 95+ Points - Gary Walsh - The Wine Front, Oct 2019

2017

  • 97 Points - James Halliday - Halliday Wine Companion 2020
  • Trophy for Best Single Vineyard White Wine - National Wine Show of Australia 2018
  • Gold Medal - National Wine Show of Australia 2018
  • Gold Medal - Wine Show of Western Australia 2018
Time Posted: 04/08/2022 at 4:11 PM Permalink to Australia's Best Chardonnay Permalink
Stella Bella
 
4 June 2022 | Stella Bella

Stella Bella in the Top 20 Wineries in Australia

 

We are humbled and incredibly excited to be rated inside the Top 20 Wineries in Australia. Every year The Real Review publishes its Top Wineries of Australia list, these are the crème de la crème of Australian wineries, with rankings determined solely by the scores gained in their tastings.

The Real Review team review over 10,000 wines annually, so the competition is intense. There are over 2,150 wineries vying to be on the list and to see six Margaret River wineries inside the Top 52 this year is testament to the outstanding quality of wine produced in our beautiful region.

Coming in at number 19 this year places Stella Bella inside the top 1%, such an amazing result and great recognition of the dedication and passion of our Viticultural and Winemaking teams.

From our humble beginnings in 1996 with the creation of Suckfizzle single vineyard wines, Stella Bella is now rated amongst the best wineries in Australia, setting the benchmark for producing Southern Margaret River wines.

GOLD AWARDS

SILVER AWARDS

  • Stella Bella Shiraz 2020 - 93 Points
  • Stella Bella Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 - 93 Points
  • Stella Bella Cabernet Merlot 2019 - 92 Points
  • Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2020 - 92 Points
  • Stella Bella Chardonnay 2019 - 93 Points

 

Time Posted: 04/06/2022 at 12:37 PM Permalink to Stella Bella in the Top 20 Wineries in Australia Permalink
Stella Bella
 
20 November 2021 | Stella Bella

Halliday Top 100 Wines 2021

Such incredible recognition of the passion and hard work that goes into creating our wines, to have two wines in this year's Halliday's Top 100 Wines. Each year, James Halliday selects his Top 100 wines, showcasing a range of varieties and price points, it’s an invaluable guide to some of Australia's finest wines.

2020 Luminosa Chardonnay - 98 Points
Top Whites over $30
"Wild fermented in French barriques; neither fined nor filtered. A very complex wine of immediate power, with a deliberately funky bouquet, then changing tack with the glorious purity and focus of the palate, white peach, grapefruit and cashew/almond combining in a single stream of joy."

2019 Stella Bella Cabernet Merlot - 95 Points
Top Reds under $40
"Cabernet sauvignon is the driver, percentages irrelevant; it's blackcurrant rather than cassis per se, but the tannins that might have bullied the merlot are in fact relaxed and accommodating. A budget-priced entry into the Margaret River castle of this blend, helped by the excellent vintage."

Time Posted: 20/11/2021 at 4:36 PM Permalink to Halliday Top 100 Wines 2021 Permalink
Stella Bella
 
19 October 2021 | Stella Bella

Wine of the Year

Stella Bella Wines has once again highlighted the quality of Cabernet to come out of Southern Margaret River, winning the Wine of the Year at this year’s Western Australian Good Food Guide Awards.

Held at Optus Stadium on Monday October 18, the WAGFG Awards seek to celebrate excellence in a range of fields. Stella Bella has taken the Wine of the Year award for their Luminosa Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.

As Mike Bennie commented “It’s hard graft whittling down 300-plus entries to 50, let alone a Top 25, but when it came to this year’s number one it’s hard to say it was close, such was the elegance, character of fruit, savoury detail, regional charm, judicious winemaking seasoning and sublime texture of our winner. A phenomenal release from a vaunted Margaret River producer, this wine delivers beauty in youth, poise and grace, but has potential for an exceptionally long life in cellar. An outstanding wine, justly rewarded.”

Stella Bella had two wines placed in the Top 5 wines with their Suckfizzle Chardonnay 2020 coming in at #5, the top-rated Chardonnay. This follows on from last year’s awards when the Luminosa Cabernet 2017 placed #2 overall.

Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe said that “this is such incredible recognition for Southern Margaret River cabernet and the Luminosa vineyard itself. We have a lot of confidence that the attention to detail in our farming methods and winemaking techniques creates an elegant, perfumed wine of individuality and personality. We’re incredibly proud of this achievement.”

This continues an absolutely stellar run for our Luminosa Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 over the last 18 months:

  • Gold Medal - Decanter World Wine Awards 2020
  • Gold Medal - Perth Royal Wine Awards 2020
  • Gold Medal - Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2020
  • Gold Medal - National Wine Show of Australia 2019
  • 97 Points - Halliday Wine Companion 2022
  • 96 Points - Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, Sept 2021

If you would like to go on the waitlist for this incredible wine please email Mechelle bellavita@stellabella.com.au

You can view the full Top 25 wines here.

Time Posted: 19/10/2021 at 6:23 PM Permalink to Wine of the Year Permalink
Stella Bella
 
6 October 2021 | Stella Bella

Single vineyard wines are a beautiful thing

Esteemed wine writer Erin Larkin recently reviewed a vertical of our iconic Luminosa Chardonnay, we were blown away by these reviews.

97 Points – Luminosa Chardonnay 2020
“This is powerful and concentrated. The minerally precision of the vineyard remains, however, with a generous undercurrent of salted yellow peach and pink grapefruit.”

97 Points – Luminosa Chardonnay 2019
“Tighter, finer and more minerally at this point. Red apple skins and briny acidity. Gorgeous, restrained and taut. After two hours in the glass this blossoms.”

96 Points – Luminosa Chardonnay 2017
“It’s a vintage similar to 2019 in terms of climate conditions. Now four years old, this is creamy, flinty, spicy and voluminous, and very precise. Top notes of marzipan and white peach, citrus pith. On the palate, tension, but very powerful. Subtle sulphites lend back palate texture and it plumes through the finish. Complexing honey / beeswax / chalky character through the tail.”

Time Posted: 06/10/2021 at 7:15 PM Permalink to Single vineyard wines are a beautiful thing Permalink
Stella Bella
 
8 July 2021 | Stella Bella

Dual Platinum for Stella Bella at Decanter 2021

We always knew there was something special about our Luminosa and Suckfizzle wines and it appears the judges at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 agree. There were only 14 Platinum Medals awarded to Australian producers at this year's awards, Stella Bella scooped two of them.

Now in its 18th year, the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is the world's largest and most influential wine competition. Judged by the top wine experts from around the globe, the DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process. Once again our wines stood out on the world stage:

Luminosa Chardonnay 2019
Platinum Medal - 97 Points
"Reveals layer after layer of bright, lean and direct flavours, such as yellow apple, green mango, peach and baking spice, augmented by a saline, mineral undertow and a delicious hint of cream towards the end. Excellent!"

Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2019
Platinum Medal - 97 Points
"Breathtaking fresh grass, spring pea, fresh honeydew melon and guava nose. Pure silk on the palate, with an effortless gloss and sheen, slippery white flowers, nettles and lime. Just lovely with a very long finish and lingering acidity."

This is the third Platinum Medal from Decanter for our Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon after the 2015 and 2016 vintages also took home this award.

Time Posted: 08/07/2021 at 3:06 PM Permalink to Dual Platinum for Stella Bella at Decanter 2021 Permalink
Stella Bella
 
9 June 2020 | Stella Bella

Luke Jolliffe nominated for Winemaker of the Year

Leading southern Margaret River winemaker Luke Jolliffe has been named as a finalist in this year's Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year awards. For 21 years now, the Winemaker of the Year awards has shone "a light on those responsible for creating Australia’s finest wines."

Luke has long been a champion of southern Margaret River fruit and with the wealth of trophies that have followed he has shown that wines from the southern climes of Margaret River have a "finesse and class to equal the best in the region."

As Huon Hooke noted, “Luke’s Luminosa and Suckfizzle wines are at the pointy end of Margaret River’s quality tree. He’s an exciting winemaker who has a great deal more to show us.”

Luke Jolliffe grew up in the Clare Valley wine region and completed his Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Viticulture major) at Adelaide University. After graduating in 1999, Luke joined Hardy’s Tintara operation in McLaren Vale as Viticultural Technical Officer, where he stayed until 2003. Whilst working at Tintara he also completed his Post Graduate Degree in Oenology. Luke later jumped at the opportunity to work in Western Australia with Forest Hill as their Viticulturist. Over time he was appointed as Operations Manager for Forest Hill and spent more time in the winery as a consequence.

In 2005 Luke visited the Rhône Valley, where he worked over the vintage season at Raymond Troillas, based in St Joseph. Then in 2007 an opportunity arose with Stella Bella to work as a vintage assistant, which he embraced, quickly being promoted to Assistant Winemaker in June 2008, Winemaker in November 2009 and finally Chief Winemaker in July 2013.

Luke Jolliffe said "When I received a phone call from Peter Forrestal saying I was being nominated for Winemaker of the year at Gourmet Traveller Wine, I was absolutely pumped. It was an incredible surprise and I still feel extremely humbled to be considered. My primary focus has always been to make distinctively Southern Margaret River wines, each with an individual personality."

"So this kind of recognition, while amazing has never been a primary focus but it certainly is the best possible re-assurance that my team and I are farming and creating unique wines of the highest quality with a distinct Southern Margaret River character. Especially when considering, in my opinion, the standard of Australian Wine at the moment is incredibly high."

Time Posted: 09/06/2020 at 6:20 PM Permalink to Luke Jolliffe nominated for Winemaker of the Year Permalink
Stella Bella
 
8 August 2019 | Stella Bella

Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend in Australia Two Years Running

2016 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Semillon

For the second consecutive year our Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon has been awarded the Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend in Australia at the James Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

And, it’s not only us Aussies who believe this to be a stunning wine. On the international stage our 2015 and 2016 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon have received Platinum Medals + 97 Points from the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards (2018 & 2019).

Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016
  • Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend in Australia + 97 Points - Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020
  • Platinum Medal + 97 Points - Decanter World Wine Awards 2019
Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015
  • Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend in Australia + 97 Points - Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2019
  • Platinum Medal + 97 Points - Decanter World Wine Awards 2018

Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe said "Winning this award for the second year running is fantastic recognition. Suckfizzle wines are handcrafted from our very unique Suckfizzle vineyard, which is also the most southern vineyard in Margaret River. Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon has always displayed a very unique style, one which we have embraced and evolved over time to capture the personality of the fruit, the vineyard and the climate of southern Margaret River.”

The Suckfizzle story began in 1997 with the first vintage of a single vineyard Graves style wine modelled on Domaine de Chevalier from Bordeaux. Today it is a wine with a long and prestigious history that has ultimately been recognised as the Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend in Australia two years running.

Time Posted: 08/08/2019 at 5:00 AM Permalink to Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend in Australia Two Years Running Permalink
Stella Bella
 
8 August 2019 | Stella Bella

2020 Halliday Awards

Every year, James Halliday and his tasting panel pinpoint the best Australian wines, winemakers and wineries from a pool of several thousand. Out of over 1,200 Australian wineries profiled for the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion only around 8% of wineries received a Five Red Star Rating.

We are thrilled to reveal that once again we sit amongst the best Margaret River wineries with our 13th consecutive Five Red Star Rating, confirming our consistent record for quality and excellence.

In looking at these points, remember these are some of the best of 8,775  wines tasted for the 2020 edition.


2016 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon | 97 Points

** Best Semillon Sauvignon Blanc Blend**

A 90/10% blend; small batches handled separately. Free-run sauvignon blanc, 50% new French oak, 30% second fill, 20% third fill, matured for 14 months. Consistently one of the most opulent SBS wines on the market. Released with several years bottle age. A truly wonderful wine, ever determined to follow its own course.

2017 Suckfizzle Chardonnay | 97 Points

A change in pace for Suckfizzle, with an early(ish) release of its premium chardonnay. Intensity and concentration and fresh, vibrant white peach/nectarine grapefruit flavours. This wine will run for years if you wish but is already very smart. Best Chardonnay from Margaret River, James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge '18.

2017 Luminosa Chardonnay | 97 Points

Wild-fermented and matured in French oak (33% new). Wonderfully luscious and complex, yet elegant and fine. How so? It's the balance and length. Stella Bella certainly knows how to extract every atom of flavour, yet count those atoms to be sure they don't go over the top.

2016 Suckfizzle Cabernet Sauvignon | 96 Points

This picks up where its vintage sibling finishes - it's on another dimension. It is at once a cabernet of great power and great purity. Its tannins are servants of the fruit providing a carriage for all the components to clamber on to. It is headed for the longest of lives.

2018 Skuttlebutt Rosé | 95 Points

The bright, clear crimson colour is a good start. We don't know the percentages of shiraz and tempranillo used to make this wine but the cherry flavours are seamless, the palate crisp and long, the slippery acidity adding to a thoroughly  persuasive parcel for lazing around with in the spring.

2016 Stella Bella Cabernet Sauvignon | 95 Points

Batches vinified separately, some with cold soak, 15-18 days on skins, matured in French barriques (27% new) for 15 months. As ever, Stella Bella's cabernet is super-sized, exploring every corner of the mouth, whether invited or not. Cedar, smoke, cassis and redcurrant are embraced by a robe of ripe tannins.

2018 Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc | 94 Points

As ever jumps out of the blocks with its assemblage of tropical fruits on the bouquet, the palate following in the footsteps of the bouquet. The fusion of flavours does allow each of the tropical flavours of guava, gooseberry, grapefruit and a leavening of pea to claim its birthright on the long palate.

2017 Stella Bella Shiraz | 93 Points

2018 Stella Bella Semillon Sauvignon Blanc | 92 Points

2016 Stella Bella Cabernet Merlot | 92 Points

Time Posted: 08/08/2019 at 5:00 AM Permalink to 2020 Halliday Awards Permalink
Stella Bella
 
2 November 2018 | Stella Bella

Stella Bella Cleans up at Margaret River Wine Show

Clean Sweep for Stella Bella

Stella Bella Wines wrapped up a succession of wines shows awards from this year’s wine show season with yet another outstanding series of wins at last night’s Langton’s Margaret River Wine Show. Taking home a total of six trophies including Best Wine of Show, Best White Wine and Best Chardonnay of Show for the first ever vintage of the 2017 Suckfizzle Chardonnay in addition to the Best Cabernet Blend for the 2017 Stella Bella Cabernet Merlot. Topping it off Stella Bella was awarded Most Successful Exhibitor and Stella Bella Viticulturist Steve Martin was recognised for his excellence as Viticulturalist of the Year.

Stella Bella has been cleaning up awards over the past few weeks. The first ever vintage of Suckfizzle Chardonnay has had a rapid ascent into notoriety, gaining national recognition as the Best Chardonnay from Margaret River at the 2018 Langton’s James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge. The 2017 Stella Bella Shiraz took our Best Wine, Best Red Wine and Best Shiraz of Show at the Wine Show of Western Australia and finally the 2016 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon was awarded the trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc Blend on the 2018 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

In accepting the award at the Trophy Awards Dinner Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe said, “this is an absolutely outstanding effort and recognition of our team. We work tirelessly to create the best possible wines from our southern Margaret River vineyards. All of our vineyards are unqiue in their own right giving each wine its own individuality and personality. It is awesome to see our efforts acknowledged and awarded in our own backyard and on a national stage.”

Luke added “We have had an overwhelming response to the 2017 Suckfizzle Chardonnay, we have sold out completely at the cellar door. Our distributors around the country may still have some in reserve so it is probably available at a few select retails and venues. This wine has been a long time in the making. It is a single vineyard wine made from just three rows of Gin Gin clone Chardonnay in our most southern and unique vineyard. I have always believed in the power and potential of this fruit and have dreamt of creating a pure and powerful wine that expresses this site, showing its difference from the rest of the Margaret River region. In 2017 this dream came to life and I could not be prouder.”

When awarded Viticulturist of the Year Steve Martin said “Our vineyards are located throughout southern Margaret River. An area of the region we choose for its cool climate and ability to produce elegant, aromatic and medium bodied wines with personality and precision. Our farming practices aim to improve soils and maintain vine health. This gives us the ability to make subtle changes, responding to the season and surrounding environment. Growing fruit that reflects the climate, soil and character of southern Margaret River. It is great to see the importance and scope of viticulture recognised by this award. It’s sounds cliché but this is a totally a team effort.”

Time Posted: 02/11/2018 at 4:20 PM Permalink to Stella Bella Cleans up at Margaret River Wine Show Permalink