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Bordeaux, Margaret River

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Bordeaux



Maritime Bordeaux in the west of France is a large producer of quality wines. Although saying that there's a large gap between the top few who produce ultra-premium wines with hefty price tags (Lafite, Margaux, Y'Quem, Petrus….) and the rest of the field.

The Left Bank with its gravelly composition of soils is more suited to Cabernet Sauvignon while the Right Bank is made up more of clay and this is where Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate (as they are earlier ripens and don't mind getting their feet wet). In the middle, the Entre Du Meurs provides a slew of whites and reds made for early drinking.

On the right bank outside of St Emilion and Pomerol, there are a lot of well-priced merlots made that are more for early consumption. These come from the satellite Bordeaux regions.
The English built up a thirst for the better Bordeaux reds which they have coined 'clarets'. These are often tucked away for a while in their cellars to age and drunk with a few years under their belts. But not all Bordeaux is built for aging, so choose wisely.

Styles
For whites, there are the crisp and easily quaffed whites from Entre De Meurs, or the more ambitious oak-aged Semillion Sauvignon blends from Pessac Legonan. The queen of dessert wines, Sauternes can also call Bordeaux home. French oak maturation is a common thread amongst the elite reds, whites and sweet wines.

Grapes

White:Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot

Some of the most highly rated recent vintages are 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

Favourite Producers
Montrose, Pichon Lalande, Poitevin, D'Yquem, Coutet,
 



Margaret river

Maritime Margaret River is a beautiful mixing pot of nature, surf and wine. It’s a rare place in that it produces some of Australia’s most stylish and prized Chardonnays as well as some of our most elegant and complex Cabernets. On paper it sounds like a lovechild between Bordeaux and Burgundy, but in reality it’s not.

A few hours south of Perth, Margaret River is home to some of Australia’s greatest wineries – Cullen, Vasse Felix, Leeuwin, Moss Wood and Cape Mentelle. In terms of newcomers, we take our hats off to Nocturne, Dormilona and Flametree.

Chardonnay, semillion and sauvignon blanc lead the charge on the white grapes. Oak is favoured in the premium styles which complements a rich core of nectarines, peaches and orchard fruits.  For reds, cabernet is the chosen one, and is often blended with merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot. These red blends personify elegance and ageability.

 

The wines of Margaret River fly the flag for modern Australian wines, a beautiful balance of fruit and workmanship.

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The Margaret River wine region (some 240km south of Perth) is the most important region, alon with the Great Southern in Western Australia. Its viticultural history began in the nineteenth century on a very small scale when the grandfather of Dr Kevin Cullen, founder of Cullen Wines established vineyards at Bunbury in 1890, though the vineyard site has now been absorbed by Bunburys unban suburbs. Contemporary Margaret river viticulture began in 1967 when Perth cardiologist Tom Cullity - inspired by papers written by John Gladstones from the University of WA which suggested Margaret River was a good place to grow grapes - planted the first commercial vineyard at Vasse Felix.  Moss Wood, Cape Mentelle and Cullen soon followed and since then Margaret River has grown to become regarded as one of Australia's, and the world's great wine-producing regions and today there are nearly 5,500 hectares under vine and over 120 wine producers in the region.

Though warm, Margaret River's proximity to the Indian Ocean provides a moderating effect ensuring a temperate dry climate which is often likened to Bordeaux, in part due to the moderating influence of its proximity to the ocean and also due to the marked similarities between the average growing tempreture in Margaret River and Bordeaux in a dry vintage. These warm even growing conditions allow for the cultivation of a number of diverse grape varieties, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc (often blended together) does well here, producing fresh textural white wines best condumed in their youth. However, the real heroes are the world class Chardonnays (headed by Leeuwin Estate and Cullen) and Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends, Cullen and Moss Wood, that have done much to propel both the region and it's star performers on the world stage.  Vasse Felix, Voyager Estate, Cullen, Moss Wood, Lenton Brae, Pierro, Fraser Gallop and Woodlands are just some of the benchmark producers.

Sources:
The Wine Atlas of Australia, James Halliday


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  1. Moss Wood Amy's Vineyard Cabernet 2018 375ml
    Moss Wood Amy's Vineyard Cabernet 2018 375ml

    An attractively fresh array of mulberry and red-plum aromas with a rose-like floral edge, too. The palate has a very supple, succulent core of fleshy, sleek tannins that carry bright raspberry and mulberry flavors fresh and long. Great balance and vibrancy here. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec and petit verdot. Drink now. Screw cap. NICK STOCK, JamesSuckling.com

    (Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, petit verdot) Deep, youthfully bright purple/red colour, with a lovely cassis, mulberry and blueberry aroma, the palate rich, essency and fruit-sweet, with stacks of glorious berry cabernet flavour. The tannins are soft and fine-grained, mild-mannered and the wine is already drinking superbly. Blueberry and violet overtones. Fruit drives the wine. HUON HOOKE, The Real Review

    We are always a little shocked when we see the price for the Amy's vineyard's bottling. It represents such terrific value from one of Australia's great wine estates. It gives the top bottlings a run for their money given it comes in at much less then half the price-tag of it's bigger brothers. PWS

    2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Australia
    432
  2. Moss Wood Amy's Vineyard Cabernet 2019 375ml
    Moss Wood Amy's Vineyard Cabernet 2019 375ml

    5/13/7/5% cabernet sauvignon/merlot/malbec/petit verdot. Hand picked, matured for 14 months in seasoned French oak. The 2019 vintage in Margaret River was cool and wet, producing wines of concentrated, high aroma and vibrancy. This is all of that, with layers of nuance on the palate. It is very restrained and long; unfurling, petal by petal, rather than revealing itself all at once. Elegant and classy to the very end. A ripper. Buy it and cellar it with confidence, or drink its beauty tonight – both viable options. ERIK LARKIN, James Halliday

    2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Australia
    432
  3. Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Syrah 2019
    Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Syrah 2019
    Silver - International Wine Challenge London 

    Blueberry and purple fruit notes. A purple and fine elegant style with a lovely chocolate on the palate NICK ADAMS, MW

    We love the wines of Domaine Naturalist and Bruce Dukes is a man who walks to the beat of hist own drum. The vineyards sit in the cooler Wilyabrup GI and you can see this is in the Discovery syrah that presents with fresh cracked pepper and lifted spice over smokey and meaty, blue/black fruits. Plenty of punch in a medium bodied and fleshy number. This screams cool-climate style and we look forward to more like this from Bruce. PWS

    2019
    shiraz
    Australia
    432
  4. Lenton Brae Merlot 2018
    Lenton Brae Merlot 2018

    The late architect Bruce Tomlinson built a strikingly beautiful winery (heritage-listed by the Shire of Busselton) that is now in the hands of winemaker son Edward (Ed), who consistently makes elegant wines in classic Margaret River style. A midwinter (French time) trip to Pomerol in Bordeaux to research merlot is an indication of his commitment. Exports to the UK. JAMES HALLIDAY

    The inaugural release. Estate-grown, wild ferment, 14 months maturation in 25% new French barriques. An interesting bouquet, a bit gamey and earthy, with the oak having an influence. Fruit comes through more clearly on the palate, the red-berried flavours quite soft and rich, fitting the usual expectation of merlot. Ripe, almost sweet tannin rounds it out. STEVEN CREBER, JamesHalliday.com

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    Australia
    432
  5. Nocturne SR Rose 2021
    Nocturne SR Rose 2021

    Of all things, today I’m listening to the soundtrack to “Pretty in Pink”, which is not quite yacht rock, but it’ll do for the morning session. Here we have 74% Sangiovese, 17% barrel-fermented Nebbiolo and 9% Tempranillo.

    Spicy, peppery, dried herb and floral perfume, white cherry and pink grapefruit. It’s dry with a grainy and chalky grip, subtle but engaging flavour profile, a coolness to acidity, and a dusty finish of crunch and excellent length, a little amaro tang in the aftertaste. Texture is a highlight in this high cheekboned style of rosato. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front

    2020
    Nebbiolo
    Australia
    432
    Special Price $25.00 Regular Price $30.00
  6. Nocturne SR Rose 2020
    Nocturne SR Rose 2020
    Last vintage won the James Halliday’s Wine Companion Rose of the Year, just saying.
    Has a little dirt under its nails with a subtle sulphide stink, and also, something lifted and floral kind of like Moscato, tangy redcurrant and barely ripe cherries, fennel tips, a fine chalky feel, a lot of energy, almost into white wine style, but with a bit of extra red berry oomph. Ruby red grapefruit zips up a nice long finish. Really good, and I suspect it may improve a little as it settles into bottle. GARY WALSH
    2020
    Nebbiolo
    Australia
    432
  7. Chai Saint Etienne Tradition Rouge 2016
    Chai Saint Etienne Tradition Rouge 2016
    60% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 20% Côt
    The Coteaux du Quercy AOC is one of France smallest wine region with only 400 hectares and less than 20 growers. It lies between Cahors & Gaillac. After the Phylloxera, the Quercy, once 50 000 hectares was almost destroyed. Roger Gisbert and his brave mates started their appellation from scratch. With high draining slopes of white clay and limestone soils, Cabernet Franc was chosen to blend with the Merlot, and off course the Cot (aka. Malbec) replanted on the rocky soils. The grapes are harvested and sorted, then fallow slow and gentle traditional fermentation.
    2016
    Cabernet Franc, Merlot
    France
    356
  8. Nocturne SR Cabernets 2020
    Nocturne SR Cabernets 2020

    72% Cabernet Sauvignon 15 % Merlot and 13% Malbec. Cabernet from the Sheoak vineyard in Yallingup, the other bits from the Simpson vineyard, mmmmm chocolaty.

    Blackberry, blueberry, cherry pie with a spicy crust, polished cedar and menthol. Medium-bodied, dark chocolate and baking spice, dried herbs and black olive, supple tannin, a brine and nori savoury aspect, dense feel to it, though not heavy, and a silty tannin and baked raspberry finish of good length. Typical maritime feel of 2020 MR Cabernet here, and good drinking. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front

    2020
    Cabernet Blends
    Australia
    432
  9. Cullen Grace Madeline 2018
    Cullen Grace Madeline 2018

    Concentration and energy to burn. A wine of complexity, velocity and depth yet scintillating freshness. Incredible persistence. Green apple, fennel, alpine herb, sea spray. Complexity for days. Amazing texture. Love this. (96) MIKE BENNIE

    A barrel-matured blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon, this is very elegant and piercingly fresh. The aromas of lemon curd, green mango, grasses and passion fruit lead to a gently creamy palate that carries seamless tropical and lemon flavors in a bright, vibrant mode. (96) NICK STOCK, jamessuckling.com

    Sensational. While the aromatic profile is quite withdrawn at the moment and the palate is tightly focused and youthfully imploded, there is al the building blocks required to see this gorgeous thing slowly unfurl in to a statuesque wine of remarkable depth of complexity. Right now it feels like a tightly wound coil waiting to explode, and when it does it is going to be magic. Cellar it for a decade and you will be in for a treat. Cellar it for two decades and this wine will entrance you. ROSCOE

    2018
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    Australia
    432
  10. Chateau La Vieille Cure 2017- 375ml
    Chateau La Vieille Cure 2017- 375ml

    Fronsac

     74% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.

    An utterly delicious red with crushed berries, cappuccino and hints of black olives. Medium-bodied, compact and very soft. Really creamy texture. A blend of 75% merlot, 22% cabernet franc and 3% cabernet sauvignon. Hard not to drink now. So do it! JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 La Vieille Cure is deep, fleshy and delicious. In 2017, La Vieille Cure is a bit less dense than it often is, but it still packs a pretty serious punch. Dark red cherry, plum, cinnamon, chocolate and floral notes shape this racy, inviting Fronsac. ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Vieille Cure has a tightly-packed black cherry and cassis scented bouquet that feels as if it could be more intense once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with a candied, pastille-like opening: blackcurrant, crème de cassis and vanilla, lower in acidity than its Fronsac peers but smooth as silk towards the finish. NEAL MARTIN

     

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  11. Senejac 2018
    Senejac 2018
    36 Bottles available at time of offer

    The 2018 Sénéjac has an attractive bouquet of blackberry and raspberry fruits, touches of graphite and pressed flowers. I admire the precision of this Haut-Médoc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, well-judged new oak (25%) and a touch of dark chocolate toward the finish. This has real panache and class and comes highly recommended. NEAL MARTIN
    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  12. Mazeris Canon-Fronsac 2016
    Mazeris Canon-Fronsac 2016
    Shows ripeness and power on the nose with ripe dark berries and volcanic salt. Full body, soft and rich tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Drink in 2022. (91) JAMES SUCKLING

    One of the best things agbout the Bordeaux 2016 vintage was the stregth of the satellite appelations - this Canon Fronsac is a freat example - situated on the right bank but with a lot of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon you could easly see this as more left bak in style - it is everything a good claret should be dense dark with chewy tannis and cool clean fruit - absoultly delicous and a great price. ALEX WILCOX


    2016
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  13. Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

    86/6/4/3/1% cabernet sauvignon/petit verdot/malbec/merlot/cabernet franc. Reaching heights of near perfection, '18 was a vintage responsible for wines just like this. Supple intensity, concentration of flavour without a gram of weight, the length of flavour possessed only by very healthy, perfectly ripe and balanced grapes. What a gloriously seamless wine, continuing the proud legacy of Parterre. Drink by 2041. (96) ERIN LARKIN, Wine Companion

    Sporting a slightly different label now, with the house in a fetching sort of purple. The splash of colour works well. Here we have 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 3% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc all grown on the estate at Wilyabrup.

    Blackberry and boysenberry, sage and mint, fetching floral perfume, baking spice and vanilla custard oak. It’s medium-bodied with pleasing density of fruit, plenty of fine grained graphite tannin, cool acidity, so svelte and composed, with a long pencilly finish. Needs a little more time for the oak to integrate, but the feel of it, its balance and shape, mark it out as an excellent wine. (95) GARY WALSH, The Wine Front

    2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Australia
    432
  14. McHenry Hohnen Burnside Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    McHenry Hohnen Burnside Vineyard Chardonnay 2018

    Grown on vines planted in '81. It's a flinty, funky chardonnay on the one hand, and powerful and long on the other. This really does establish its quality in emphatic terms. Nectarine, fig, grapefruit, grilled nut and spice character drive through the wine's more matchsticky notes. There's a pure, strong drive of acidity running from start to finish too. It's a top drawer release. (96) CAMPBELL MATTINSON, Wine Companion

     

    2018
    chardonnay
    Australia
    432
    Special Price $57.00 Regular Price $66.00
  15. McHenry Hohnen Calgardup Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    McHenry Hohnen Calgardup Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    Grown on a site 20km south of the Margaret River township. It's a fine-boned and lengthy wine but it doesn't leave flavour behind. Elegant power is a good way to describe it. It's flinty but not too much so, fleshed with stone fruit, touched up with meal and green apple, and intricately complex to close. All the while sweet fruit flows. It's an easy wine to get excited over. (95) CAMPBELL MATTISON, Wine Companion
    2018
    chardonnay
    Australia
    432
    Special Price $57.00 Regular Price $66.00
  16. Clos Floridene Blanc 2017
    Clos Floridene Blanc 2017

    1 BOTTLES remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Clos Floridène Blanc has a really classy bouquet, very well defined with citrus lemon, lime and light crushed pebble aromas. This is very pure and focused. The palate is well balanced with a twist of sour lemon on the entry, a fine bead of acidity with a very saline finish. This is a really interesting Clos Floridène thanks to the expressive Sémillon (91). NEAL MARTIN

    A wine of real distinction and class, the 2017 Clos Floridène Blanc also shows just how appealing the vintage is for Bordeaux's dry whites. Lemon confit, tangerine oil, pear, spice and a kiss of new French oak all grace this soft, wonderfully expressive white from the Dubourdieu family. The 2017 is pure class. That's all there is to it. Tasted two times. (91) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  17. Doisy Daene 2010 375ml
    Doisy Daene 2010 375ml

    Sauternes (1st Growth)

    Denis Dubourdieu's Barsac cru has an attractive bouquet with subtle notes of cooking apple, pear and lime-flower, all with very fine delineation. The palate displays good weight and a fine thread of acidity, lending tension and poise that leads to a taut finish, showing good botrytis levels for the vintage. With its trademark minerality in place, this Doisy-Daene comes highly recommended.  NEAL MARTIN

    Slightly less sweet than the 09, but still just as highly-strung with a healthy acidity and above all a very vibrant tone of fresh fruit running through the sweetness. A classic Doisy Daene, all natural and tensile, that will be lovely young and probably great old.  BILL BLATCH

    PLEASE NOTE THIS WINE IS OFFERED EN PRIMEUR AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED THE FINAL (NOW) PRICE LESS 20% WITH THE BALANCE DUE WHEN THE WINE ARRIVES IN 2013.

    2010
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  18. Chateau Montravel Blanc (Semillon) 2016
    Chateau Montravel Blanc (Semillon) 2016
    This is a 100% Sémillon form a 1 hectare vineyard located in Montravel, a sub-region of Bergerac.
    The grapes are hand harvested in small lug boxes, bunches are selected one by one. Pressed in an air tight press, the must is then barrel fermented and the wine aged on fine lees with regular batonnage. Aged for eleven months in 1/3 new, 1/3 one year old and 1/3 in two years old oak barrels.

    I love this wine - Semillion grown on chalk with a minerally intense core. It is opulent and dense yet has great freshness. A slight touch of stuck match reduction adds complexity to a lifted bright nose of citrus and minerally notes. Great power and mouth coating flavour and yet finishes crisp and clean. ALEX WILCOX


    2016
    Semillon
    France
    356
  19. Moss Wood Ribbonvale Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Moss Wood Ribbonvale Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    With 2% each of merlot and cabernet franc. 27 months in French oak (16% new). We live in hallowed times: the '18 cabernets from Margaret River are being released into the wild ... there's never been a better time to be alive. Concentrated, fine, pedigree cabernet with explosive, low-down torque that drags the flavours over the palate into the interminably long finish. Epic. Will live as long as you do. (97) "Top Rated" ERIN LARKIN, James Halliday's Wine Companion
    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    Australia
    432
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