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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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Xanadu, Exmoor Drive Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009
Quite powerful, apple and citrus nose, any more vegetal Sauvignon character well in the background. The palate has a gooseberry bite and intensity, a touch of leafy green herbs and a more unctuous, almost pineapple fruit in the background. Quite richly-textured and balanced by zesty acidity, this drinks well and has a nicely balanced style with only 12.5% alcohol. 87/100

Xanadu, Exmoor Drive Chardonnay 2008
There's a green fig and pleasantly hazelnut note to this wine, with orchard fruits beneath. Wild yeast fermentation does give a nicely funky, earthy character too. On the palate the barrel influence is quite prominent, with a sweetness of fruit also dominant. That vanilla and tropical fruit attack is met rather abruptly by a bold, lemony acidity. This keeps the wine fresh, but perhaps a touch disjointed too. 86/100.

Xanadu, Chardonnay 2008
Again, wild yeast fermentation and ageing in French oak barriques (25% new) are part of the equation here, and the nose displays that funky, complex character with a trace of something earthy and meaty that's verging on being indistinct, but a nuttiness and green-fruited quality begins to come through. On the palate this comes together well: there's a big, pithy, almost sour acidity at the core of this, but wrapped around it are softly toasty, nougat flavours and some ripe, sweet fruit, in a wine that ends up quite complex and with good balance. 89/100.

Xanadu, Exmoor Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
There's a fine, sweet, almost blood-streaked gamey edge to the black fruit on this wine, with a classic hint of Margaret River herbaceousness. On the palate ripe black fruit - cassis and black cherry - are tinged with some smoky oak and a hint of bittersweet cocoa. There's a certain freshness too thanks to good acidity and a tight, grippy line of tannin. 88/100.

Xanadu, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
This handsome, tall bottle contains Cabernet that spent 14 months in French oak, around 55% of it new. That herbal quality is here again, but this time joined by more subtle, integrated notes of cedar and incense, and a coffeeish warmth to the black fruit character. On the palate this has a fairly grippy, stern core of acid and tannin that should help it to age positively, as the fruit is sweet and has a nice density. It perhaps lacks a touch of flesh on the mid-palate, but is a wine with very good components and a certain elegance. 90/100.

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