Wilyabrup VS Napa Valley Mountains- New World Cabernet Tasting

This offer is a face off tasting between two of the New World’s most important regions for Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends: Wilyabrup, the area at the heart of Margaret River greatness, and the sub-regional AVAs of the Napa Valley. From the Napa we will focus on the sub regions of Calistoga, Rutherford, Howell Mountain and Stags Leap sub-regional AVAs. The selection from the Napa are some of the oldest and most revered Cabernets of the region.
This is a fascinating tasting which brings together some of the most prestigious AVAs of the Napa and Wilyabrup. Many of the producers in Wilyabrup argue the wines are distinct and this is the ideal area for Cabernet Sauvignon production in Margaret River – too far north and it’s a little too warm. Too far south and it’s too cool. This tasting features some of the leading lights of Margaret River and including wines from Cullen, Vasse Felix (Tom Cullity) and Woodlands to name a few.

The argument for the creation of a Wilyabrup sub-district of Margaret River is compelling. The area produces specific wines with greater intensity and character – it’s also the heart of Margaret River, itself an enormous area. Set back from the beach and cooled by the coastal breezes Wilyabrup is ideally situated for and the home of the great Cabernets of Margaret River, and home to the oldest and most prestigious vineyards and producers.

The Napa Valley has a number of sub-regional AVAs uniquely suited to Cabernet. The best distinction though for the purposes of this offer and tasting could simply be to split into the wines from the Valley floor and those from the surrounding hillsides – Howell, Spring and Diamond mountains. This is not to say there are not differences on the valley floor like the unique Rutherford bench area favoured by some of the great names but the broader difference between Mountain and Valley are most profound in our view. Moreover, the obvious difference in elevations and also the different effect of the maritime fogs that come in from the Pacific. On “the floor” the moderating influence in a warm year providing a buffering effect to excessively alcoholic wines and on the hillsides in a cooler year you’ll often find wines that have the advantage of sitting above the fog line.

It has long been our contention that these two areas provide the greatest expressions of cabernet outside the spiritual home of Bordeaux. In fact, in many cases these wines have outshone their illustrious French cousins.