By Fergal Gleeson
If you’ve just come through one of Australia’s hottest ever summers, you’ll probably welcome autumn’s cooler days and evenings. At various times you’ll have been slow cooked, roasted and fried by the antipodean sun.
The wine for those days is something cold, fresh and simple. With autumn upon us the drinks menu changes. You should be thinking about more complex, textured white wines and approachable reds.
It is vintage 2019 in Margaret River now, when winemakers work feverishly to harvest their fruit at it’s best. These wine recommendations show the fruits of their labour from vintages past featuring wines from 2015 through to 2018. Enjoy!
Rosabrook Chardonnay 2016 RRP $25
Rosabrook Wines are owned by the Calneggia family, who have operated in the region for 20 years. They focus on Margaret River’s classic varieties along with Shiraz and Tempranillo. The Chardonnay is rich and satisfying but elegant too. In other words what Margaret River does best. The flavours are of nectarine and grapefruit combined with nutty flavours and subtle toasty oak. It has the added bonus of being inexpensive for the quality. They also make a lovely Reserve Chardonnay.
Goon Tycoons Fiano ‘Hipster Piss’ 2018 RRP $28
The Goon Tycoons are the highly awarded Julian Langworthy and the Fogarty brothers of Deep Woods. Their focus is on experimental techniques and alternative varietals from Margaret River and Great Southern… and cheeky labels! This is their first Fiano (pronounced fee-AHH- no), a southern Italian varietal of promise in Australia, given it’s warm climate origins.
It’s a distinctive wine with flavours of spiced pear and apple. The label recommends that you “Slip into skinny jeans and drink with a bearded friend for the full experience.” Though clean shaven men and women will enjoy this too! The Goons share a cellar door with an artisan cheesemaker and an olive oil producer.
Clairault Estate Chardonnay 2016 RRP $45
The cat is out of the bag regarding the quality of Margaret River Chardonnay. Jancis Robinson and a number of other leading UK critics have been singing the region’s praises in the last few months, making favourable comments in comparison to white Burgundy. Here’s a beautiful example from Clairault that walks the line perfectly between refreshing, linear, acid flavours and complexity courtesy of barrel fermentation and ageing. The quality is excellent across the range, which is made by the very talented Bruce Dukes. Cellar door open daily, tours and café on site.
Cullen Kevin John Chardonnay 2017 RRP $127
Kevin John Chardonnay is a very personal wine for Winemaker Vanya Cullen, named after her father and released every year on his birthday. Her parents Kevin and Diana were among Margaret River’s pioneering winemakers. The detail involved in making a wine of this quality is startling. Biodynamically grown fruit is picked from 8 different sweeps of the vineyard to source each parcel of grapes when they are at their very best. Wild yeast is used to ferment and the variety is stored in a variety of vessels from barriques to ‘ancient Roman’ style amphorae. Kevin John has rich and powerful white peach flavours. They combine with bright natural acid making for a balanced, refreshing and satisfying wine. The Cellar Door is open daily. There are private winery tours options, accommodation and a “two chef hatted” restaurant at Cullen.
From Your Margaret River Region Magazine