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Wines of Margaret River

© 2009 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Margaret River, Australia.


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Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2008
Nice punch of herby, grassy notes here, with some underlying white fruit of melon and some juicy passionfruit. The palate maintains a bit of that raw green bean crunch, with very nice citrus fruit - quite lean and savoury, with a pithy lemon but also a bit of limey, almost waxy texture in the background. 90/100

Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2009
Not so much of the capsicum, cut grassy aromatic. More dry, white, apple and pear fruit, but cool and dry, with a hint of nuttiness. The palate has a nice weight, with a bit more creamy weight than the 2008 at this stage I think, but some of that grassy cut does come through. 90/100

Wallcliffe Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2005
2005 was a long, dry vintage. Lovely nose, with a little bit of green fig richness and a hint of buttery toast and some spice. Absolutely delicious palate, with terrific lemon zest thrust and fine flavours that punch through the mid palate. A lovely Graves style. 93/100

Wallcliffe Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2007
Slightly steelier aromatics, with very fine herbs and punchy lime fruit. The palate has more room to develop, at the moment the Sauvignon piercing through with its greener notes, but this will take on some weight in bottle to mature more like the 2005 I suspect. 91/100

Chardonnay 2007
Tim tells me this wine is benchmarked against Chablis and Chassagne-Montrachet. This has a fair bit of oak, but the winemaking team has been working on lowering alcohol, retaining a bit more acidity, and trying to rein back the formerly 'bigger', riper style the wine once had. There's a gentle toast and some cool orchard fruits and a touch of peach. On the palate this has a little bit of orangy, lime-fresh bite, and that hint of waxy, rich textural weight through the mid-palate. Lovely balance here, and a very fresh but fruity style. 90/100

Chardonnay 2008
Oak seems further in the background still in this vintage, with a touch of green bean quality and beneath a gently toasty, grilled peach fruit. The palate is razor sharp, with a real sense of minerality running through the wine, the complex, stone fruit and lemon zest flavours, along a fantastic line of acidity. Beautiful stuff. 92/100

Shiraz 2007
Fantastic colour. Lots of floral, creamy, bright berry and cherry notes. A touch of peppery spice too - very nice qualities here. The palate has a developing chocolaty note, with a firm, cherry skin and plum skin edge to the fruit and the tannin. Fresh, bright fruit marries with that nice structure in a delicious wine. 92/100

Trinders Cabernet Merlot 2007
Although a lot of the fruit comes from the home Trinders vineyard, it is not a single vineyard wine, as fruit from other vineyards in Willyabrup in northern Margaret River add structure to the silky Trinders fruit. Small amounts of Petit Verdot and Malbec in this wine too. Some gamey, vegetal notes to this, but an obvious ripeness, and little lifted notes of violet in the background. Some smoky, dry qualities here, but the lovely fleshy, gamey palate has great richness and a chewy tannin finish, with a chewy, fine finish. 90/100

Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Current vintage in the UK, and may skip on to the 2006. The 'icon' Cabernet Sauvignon, when it won the Jimmy Watson trophy in successive years in the early 80s. Only around 2,000 cases all from home vineyards. Fantastic spicy nose, with Bay leaf aromatics and lots of cedary complexity, with a gamey edge and an underlying richness and ripeness. Beautiful purity here and a great deal of sweetness and plush depth, but the edge never leaves the fruit and the cherry ripe acid is beautifully done. 93/100

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