Established in 1973 by David and Heather Watson, Woodlands’ 10-hectare vineyard on a south-facing slope in the heart of Wilyabrup receives sunlight all day. Sunlight is not direct, however, because of the east-west orientation of the vineyard, while clay-loam soils retain moisture to allow even ripening at a moderate alcohol level. Since 2002 the vineyard has been restructured with a conversion towards organics and the cellar has been renovated with a vibrating sorting table and other modern equipment. A combination of all these factors allows the Woodlands Cabernet Sauvignon to achieve flavour intensity at 13.5% – a relatively modest alcohol for Australia.
RJ Evolves on the palate. Lots of balanced fruit; this will age well. Lots happening in the glass and then you get that amazing fruit hit with great lingering flavours. You should decant this. PM A fresh nose of black cherry and some stylish oak; very elegant. Has a fine, medium-bodied palate; there is real focus and poise. The finish has superb texture and effortless intensity. AR Sweet vanilla and cedar nose; plenty of stylish oak. Complex: a powerful, rich, concentrated mouthful of sweet cassis and spice with a herby, almost meadow-like fragrance. This is infused with a savoury balsam-fruit richness, which is dense, long, concentrated and fine-grained in texture. Drink 2015-2021.
Decanter average score: 18.75/20pts (95+/100pts) Individual judges’ scores: Roger Jones 18.5 Pierre Mansour 19 Anthony Rose 18.5
Located three hours south of Perth, Margaret River is Western Australia’s most prestigious wine-growing region. Serious vineyard development began only in the late 1960’s following the publication of a report by John Gladstones in 1965 stating that the area had a similar climate to Pomerol or St Emilion, with low frost risk, plenty of sunshine and equable temperatures within the growing season promoting even ripening. Margaret River’s climate is warm and maritime, with some cooling influence provided by southeast trade winds. The soils derive from granitic and a gneissic rock over which laterite has formed. The region can be divided in three sub-regions: the cooler south between Yallingup and Karridale with predominantly lateritic gravelly loamy sands and sandy loams; the warm and sunnier Willyabrup in the centre with predominantly gravelly loams, but some gritty sandy loams and granitic gravels; and Margaret River in the north with similar soils, but slightly cooler temperatures. This is entirely consistent with style; the wines from Willyabrup being more generous than the highly structured wines of the north and the elegant styles of the south. Margaret River is best known for high quality Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends and top notch Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. Over the years, the region has established an astonishing reputation illustrating a consistency in quality and a strongly focused winemaking culture.