Browse Tag

margaret river

Heads Leeuwin, tails you lose

[leeuwin estate]Leeuwin Estate “Art Series” 1999 Shiraz (Margaret River) — Blackberry syrup and soy. I suppose this has aged, but my memory is that it was less sludgy in its youth. It’s in no danger of cliff-diving, so I suppose it might be interesting to see where it goes from here. (11/16)


Voyager Estate 2003 Shiraz (Margaret River) – Impatience is what caused this. I probably should have waited another ten years, at least, but curiosity overcame sense. This isn’t even particularly ambitious or artsy shiraz, and yet it has held and oh-so-barely developed without so much as a blink or a nod. Intense peppered blackberry compote, bark, a touch of tar. If one is waiting for this to turn into something, one will of necessity wait longer. (2/12)

Gathering none

Moss Wood 2004 Ribbon Vale Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (Margaret River) – A mix of green and yellow citrus influences, gooseberry, grass, and herb. Ripe to the point of juiciness, and on the fulsome side, but not over the top. A pretty decent finish, too. (3/05)


Ashbrook 2004 Semillon (Margaret River) – Ripe but tight. Crisp lime rind and herbs, and that’s about it. Liquid simplicity, and good. (3/05)

Jumpin’ Juniper

Juniper Crossing 2005 Shiraz (Margaret River) – It’s the power of suggestion, perhaps, but this does taste like its eponymous aromatic. Maybe it’s pine needle, maybe there’s a cedar element, but after consideration it really does smell of juniper and forest. There’s dark, dark, dark fruit as well, though the weight of it isn’t as heavy as such opacity usually indicates. It’s a simple, basic wine, but it does have that intriguing individualism, and I enjoy it as the bargain it is. (5/10)

Plymouth Plantation

Voyager Estate 2006 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (Margaret River) – Grassy grapefruit rind, crisp and slightly overdriven. It’s a very refreshing drink, but it’s the refreshment of a fruit-based soda more than a wine. Still, it seems churlish to complain, because this is neither advertised as nor attempting to be some vinous sophisticate. I suspect it would be even better with food. (4/10)

Are you there, cab? It’s me…

[vineyard]Voyager Estate 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River) – Unfortunately, this is my last bottle of what has been a wine consistently outperforming both its price and its expectations. It’s not “Australian wine” for all the dire connotations that has to American consumers, it’s cabernet sauvignon, and it’s Margaret River, and it’s good. Dark blackberry fruit, narrowed and focused, with the herbal bite of rosemary and thyme, black peppery structure, and the requisite balancing act between firmness of character and the complexity of age. It’s good, it’s middle-aged at best, it’s aging as any fan of non-internationlized cabernet would wish, and it was under $20 at release. You won’t find wines like that coming from California. (2/10)

Cullen the herd

Cullen 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (Margaret River) – Dense and a little roasted, with razor-like tannin and a certain alcoholic weight (though there’s only a bit of heat). Coconut, blackberry, and…not much else; the center is hollow, there’s volatile acidity hanging about (and sure to get stronger), and the wine finishes with both feet and a large portion of its torso in the grave, though it’s still swinging its fists as it descends. A bit brutal to drink, honestly, and it appears to have suffered the fate so often predicted for modern-style wines (though what it was actually like young, I have no idea). Some at the table opine that it’s actually having a mid-life crisis, and while I concede their greater experience with the wine, I don’t see it based on what’s on display. (3/05)

Cross the footwear

Sandalford “Estate Reserve” 2003 Verdelho (Margaret River) – Fruit buds and crushed flower pollen with an anise-like herbality (fennel fronds, perhaps). Good acidity. There’s a nice, light, fresh quality to this wine, though it doesn’t lack flavor. (3/05)

  • 1
  • 2