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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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Fifth Leg Chardonnay 2009
Oliver Crawford tells me this is his "response to the popularity of New Zealand Sauvignon. It's a wine that offers the nice fruits of Chardonnay, but has a really clean, fresh, zippy finish." Nice touch of green, but a big lemony palate, lovely punch. 88/100

Devil's Lair Chardonnay 2008
All of the fruit for this comes off of the estate vineyards. Oliver employs 50% new French oak, 100% malolactic. Picked a little bit early, but has a lot of weight and fat through the mid palate. There's a refined green fruit quality and plenty of zip and lemony sharpness. Impressive. 92/100

Fifth Leg Rosé 2009
Shiraz/Merlot/Cabernet blend. Elegant, fresh, cherry flower and strawberry. Soft, sweet cherry fruit holds a nice line through the finish with a hint of residual sugar, but holding really nice acidity and has softening tannins in the finish. 87/100

Devil's Lair Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Lots of capsicum and grassy character. Oliver had done a lot of research on malolactic inoculation and yeasts whilst at Penfold's, so this is made with an overtly grassy character. Lots of quite aggressive, herbaceous character, but very crisp and fresh, with a lot of punchy, vibrant lemon and lime flavour. Dry and a determinedly Marlborough style. 89/100

Devils Lair Cabernet Merlot 2007
"It's a $65 bottle of wine, so it needs to deliver," says Oliver. Made from 100% estate fruit, it spends 22 months in oak. Schisty black cherry, with some green edge, with a nice black fruited edge. There's a creamy weight and texture, and the tannins are a touch chalky, but the wine holds together very nicely. 90/100

Devils Lair Cabernet Merlot 2008
16 months in oak, added around 20% non estate fruit. No real sign of any greenness. A touch of black cherry and a more plump feel to the fruit. The palate has a broad acidity and nicely savoury edge, but the juicier finish has some real bite and a bit of tobacco and black plum skin tang and brightness. 92/100

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