The Great Wine Estates of Western Australia is a union of grand marques convened by Langton’s in 1996 to highlight the best wines of the west!
The first sale was facilitated by David Hohnen at Cape Mentelle beginning a tradition of selling barrels En Primeur to Australian and international wine collectors. This method of selling is also called wine futures. The wines are offered for sale after vintage/ vinification but prior to maturation and bottling. It is possible to identify the overall quality and personality of the vintage at this stage and also predict how the wines will develop.
For instance, I spent four days running around various wineries to taste 2008 barrel samples. I came away feeling the wines are definitely worth supporting. I know this because I get to taste wine all the time. I look at the colours, definition of aromas, quality of the tannins, overall concentration of flavours and balance. It’s not exactly rocket science, but a degree of scent and sensibility is required.
The 2008 WA Cabernets are outstanding. It’s a great year where nature and nurture are perfectly aligned. Moss Wood, Cullen, Cape Mentelle and Houghton Jack Mann are of First Growth quality this year. I particularly loved the Howard Park and Vasse Felix wines. Voyager Estate and Xanadu have made their best wines ever.
You simply cannot go wrong with the 2008 vintage. Leeuwin Estate Art Series, Pierro and Devil’s Lair Chardonnays are all spectacularly good and offer tremendous value when you compare them to other wines of the same genre. By buying these wines En Primeur you get to jump the queue and to acquire great wines at advantageous prices. All the en-primeur offers are generously time-factored against future release prices.
Langton’s is a supporter of the Great Wine Estates of Western Australia because the top wines are important cellaring style benchmarks for the Australian secondary wine market. They are hugely admired by collectors for their beauty, generosity, longevity and reliability. The wines are particularly well represented in Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine. Our long term ambition is to build a meaningful and dynamic international Primeur market based on recognised vintages only.
2008 was a brilliant vintage in the west but variable on Australia’s east coast. Many of the best Australian wines were made in Western Australia this year. This En Primeur campaign highlights the huge potential of the 2008 vintage and provides an opportunity for Langton’s members to participate in a really good fine wine offer. With the stock markets all over the place, here is something that does have some certainty.
Andrew Caillard MW