Margaret River

Top 5 Reds Under $40 for our Glorious Pseudo-Winter…

Winemaker Robert Gherardi of Mr Barval wines

Winemaker Robert Gherardi of Mr Barval wines

2016 Mr Barval Nebbia, Margaret River

“We can’t get enough of this.  Bright strawberry lift on the nose, refreshing acidity on the medium bodied palate, plenty of fine grained tannin and structure, and enough spice to make this a desperately interesting, delicious, moorish wine.  Redolent of violets, rose petals and suggestions of the old adage ‘tar & roses’.  96 points, $40”

Who is Mr Barval...?

Who is Mr Barval...?

Winemaker Alex Head, at Head Wines in the Barossa.

Winemaker Alex Head, at Head Wines in the Barossa.

2014 Head Red, Shiraz, Barossa Valley

“This is the ‘entry level wine’ from winemaker Alex Head’s collection, and great value at that.  Alex describes it as a “barrel cull” from the great single vineyard wines of Brunette, Blonde and Contrarian wines (YES – worth tracking down and treating yourself).  With parcels from the Marananga, Greenock, Stone Well and Light Pass subregions, this sees 12 months in mainly older oak, and a tiny injection of Grenache, Mataro and Cabernet Sauvignon from Greenock.  A super exciting winery to watch – it is recommended that you try all of his wines – but start here – a great litmus.  93 points, $25”

2015 Head Red Shiraz, Barossa Valley

2015 Head Red Shiraz, Barossa Valley

Flowstone Vineyard, Forest Grover, Maragret River

Flowstone Vineyard, Forest Grover, Maragret River

2015 Flowstone Shiraz Grenache, Margaret River

“The thirst for red blends, alternate varietals, and ‘old world styles made in a new-world manner’ is absolutely dominating wine trends on and off wine-lists this year.  The Flowstone Grenache Shiraz (winemaker Stuart Pym) has been good for a couple of years running, and exemplifies perfectly why shiraz and Grenache should be seen together.  Juicy and plump, yet structured and savoury, this is fresh and energetic and absolutely delicious.  92 points and $24”

Currently available at our On The Vine stores http://onthevine.com.au/

2015 Flowstone Shiraz Grenache, Margaret River

2015 Flowstone Shiraz Grenache, Margaret River

Mandoon Estate restaurant, Caversham WA

Mandoon Estate restaurant, Caversham WA

2014 Mandoon Estate Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River

“Ryan Sudano at Mandoon Estate is responsible for some of the best value, age worthy, exciting, classical and delicious red wines made in WA at the moment.  The Cabernet Merlot is an incredible starting point, and showcases his ability to create wines of suppleness, finesse, fresh fruit, balanced tannins and spicy oak.  The grapes are picked from the northern end of the great Research Station vineyard.  This is always a winner.  93 points and $26”

Currently available at our On The Vine stores http://onthevine.com.au/

2014 Mandoon Estate Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River

2014 Mandoon Estate Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River

View over an Ulithorne Vineyard, McLaren Vale

View over an Ulithorne Vineyard, McLaren Vale

2015 Ulithorne ‘Specialis’ Tempranillo Grenache Graciano, McLaren Vale

“Aromas of sarsaparilla, pomegranate, ripe raspberry, hints of liquorice, raw cocoa and cracked black pepper.  It is not too heavy in the mouth as the flavours might suggest – medium bodied – it just sings of life, vivacity and spice.  This is a perfect ‘gateway wine’ into the world of European reds, lovely acidity and tannin profile to balance out the fruit of the front of the palate.  Get around this.  94 points and $25”

Currently available at our On The Vine stores http://onthevine.com.au/

2015 Ulithorne 'Specialis', Temp, Grenache, Graciano, McLaren Vale

2015 Ulithorne 'Specialis', Temp, Grenache, Graciano, McLaren Vale

TOP 10 WINES UNDER $20 – WHITE AND RED

We all love great wine, sure we do.  But everyone needs a weekday wine.  A Monday night wine.  A ‘cooking’ wine – some of it might even end up in the food.  So here is a list of our top 10 wines below $20 to fill the weekday nights without emptying the piggybank.

WHITES:

Houghton Stripe Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2016

$9.99 – These guys get a lot of press – but they’re worth it.  You want a reliable, fresh and crisp SSB – this is it.  Change from a twenty… or two bottles – depending on how hard your day was. 90pts

Howard Park Flint Rock Chardonnay 2016

$19.99 – About 5 years ago Howard Park introduced the regionals range – same Howard Park quality that we know and love, at a fraction of the price.  Usually $25, but at LB stores for $20 91 pts

Vasse Felix Classic Dry White 2016

$16.99 – Sem Sav Blanc.  Vasse needs no introduction - a high-class outfit producing great wines consistently, year in, year out.  This is a cracker. 91 pts

Deep Woods Estate Chardonnay 2016

$17 – this is Margaret River’s best value, under $20 Chardonnay.  Great every year.  Over delivers complexity, flavour and length.  Love it. 93 pts

Bellewinter Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Margaret River 2016

$11.99 – bright, citrus fruit, grassy herbal notes and plenty of ripe tropical fruit.   89 pts

 

REDS:

Willow Bridge Dragonfly Cabernet Merlot 2015

$14.99 – Reds from the Geographe might seem exotic – but they shouldn’t.  A great region producing exciting wines, this being silky, spicy, plush and satisfying. 93 pts

Leeuwin Estate Siblings Shiraz 2014

$19.99 - Margs Shiraz is an underrated style.  Juicy and bright, full of life, spice and joy.  A great estate. 91 pts

Stoneberry Premium Red, WA 2015

$8.99 – Change from a ten.  Simple, juicy, bright – not complicated, just delicious.  Exclusive to LB stores. 90 pts

Amelia Park Trellis Cabernet Merlot 2015

$14.99 – We reckon this is the best Cab Merlot from Margs at this price.  Amelia Park are kicking countless goals right now.  Don’t miss out on the fun. 93 pts

Houghton Stripe Red Classic 2014

$9.99 - The pigeon pair to the SSB.  A blend of three varieties, cabernet dominant. Consistent like the sunrise. 90 pts

Deep Woods Estate Ebony Cabernet Shiraz 2015

$12.99 – Silky, juicy, plump and difficult not to finish the bottle. Love the sweet fruit VS the savoury spice.  Great every year.  92 pts

 

 

 

Rockstars from Margaret River Wine Show

Rockstars from Margaret River Wine Show

Rockstars from Margaret River Wine Show

It’s normal in a show judging environment for around 5% of wines entered to leave with a gold medal. This year at Margaret River Wine Show, just over 10% of wines entered left with golds, due to the high quality of wines being produced in the region. Of the 242 wines judged at my table, these were some standouts on my scorecard:

2014 Amato Vino Mantra Cabernet Sauvignon SILVER MEDAL
“Deep, dark, intense nose. Gorgeous fruit, quite tannic at this stage but they will integrate. Well put together, silky.” 95 pts, $35
Amato Vino are small batch artisan winemakers located at Stevens Road in Margaret River, led by owner Brad Wehr. There are three distinct labels within the Amato Vino range: Amato Vino, Mantra and Brad. Not shy of unusual grape varieties, natural winemaking methods and banging out the classics (chard + cab).

2014 Stella Bella Serie Luminosa Cabernet Sauvignon (WINE OF SHOW)
“Pure cassis on the palate, chewy tannins, fine structure and great length. YES.” 94 pts, $60
The 2014 is not yet released, current vintage is 2013, so join Stella Bella’s online wine club for news of release dates.

2014 Snake & Herring Corduroy Chardonnay GOLD MEDAL
“This has length, line and concentration. On the palate there is white spice, ripe fruit, with minerality and plushness at once. Yes please. Poised. Flinty. Delicious.” 96 points, $42
What can I say here: epic value for money, charming the pants off the national show circuit, and gathering more medals and trophies than they can reasonably store in the pool room.

2014 Xanadu Reserve Chardonnay GOLD MEDAL
“Characterised by fine mineral spice and layered complexity, lovely clarity of yellow peach, curry leaf and incredible length. Awesome.” 96 pts, $85
These guys are kicking goals left right and centre. Tallying a total of 12 GOLD medals at this year’s wine show prove just how well they’re tracking. Don’t miss these wines.

Dream Run for Deep Woods

Each year at the Royal Melbourne wine awards a young red wine is awarded the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy.

It is the most sought after wine trophy in Australia, and this year it was taken home by WA’s Deep Woods Estate for their Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. This is the culmination of 3 years of consecutive triumph at the Royal Melbourne wine show taking home the cabernet trophy in 2016, 2015 and 2014.

This is the first time a winery has taken home both the cabernet trophy and the Jimmy Watson since the Wolf Blass Black label wines in the 1970’s. As if this isn’t already enough to be proud of, this Deep Woods Reserve Cabernet has also taken out the Max Schubert trophy for cabernet at the Adelaide wine show twice in the last 3 years. This is the first time a wine has ever achieved this.

The Jimmy Watson was first awarded in 1962 – 54 years ago. In that time, only 4 WA wineries have won the trophy: Cape Mentelle twice in 1983 and 1984 for their cabernet; Flametree in 2008 for the 2007 cabernet merlot; Harvey River Bridge Estate in 2010 for their 2009 cabernet, and now Deep Woods Estate in 2016 for the 2014 Reserve cabernet sauvignon.

This is yet another win for winemaker Julian ‘Midas’ Langworthy and his team at the Yallingup winery, who is leading the way for WA wines in critical reviews and on the national show circuit. If you needed any further reason to get on board with Deep Woods estate here it is:

In 2016, nine Deep Woods wines have won Gold Medals at capital city wine shows, and they have a total of 7 Trophies & 16 Gold Medals in 2016’s six major shows so far.

Their wines start at a meagre $12.99 (on promotion) up to a reasonable $64 (members price) for the reserve wines.

Last year, the 2015 rose was rated the best rose in Australia by James Halliday ($24 on the website and 95 pts), the 2013 Reserve chardonnay won the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge (the 2015 is just about the be released and has already totted up 3 Silver medals and 2 Golds at national wine shows).

The only way to possibly secure yourself a bottle of the Jimmy Watson Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is to sign up to become a member (free) of the Fogarty Wine Group Wine Club on the Deep Woods website, or pop down to cellar door in Yallingup over the weekend. Take it from me, this wine is certainly worth the 3 hour drive.