Although established in 1977, it wasn’t until after its purchase by the Rathbone family and the hiring of Glenn Goodall and his winemaking team shortly thereafter, that Xanadu’s wines truly began to come into their own. Xanadu’s DJL Cabernet is a sterling example of the skill and finesse their wines have come to be known for.
On the back of a standout, much-lauded 2013 vintage, the 2014 DJL Cabernet was more than capable of carrying on the torch, earning a Gold Medal at the 2015 Royal Melbourne Wine Show and high praise from critics. Despite its critical success, its value is equally impressive - coming in at just around $20 a bottle.
A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot, the Xanadu Cabernet exhibits uncanny regional characteristics with outstanding pedigree and undeniable value.
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot; from northern Margaret River, 43% estate-grown in Wallcliffe (southern Margaret River) and a small portion of the Cabernet (12%) from the Frankland River; destemmed and crushed, static fermenter for 5-7 days, 35% given extended maceration on skins, matured for 14 months in French oak (30% new). As well as significant regional complexity, there is the Bordeaux mix of varieties adding yet more. The great crimson-purple colour telegraphs a steel hand in a velvet glove. The wine has great structure and texture, yet is so refined it is only medium-bodied, with all the expected cassis, blackcurrant and mulberry fruit. Wine Companion.
It wouldn’t be a proper Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon if there wasn’t some Malbec in the mix. This includes 10% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot… Proportion. Mouthfeel. Enough flavour without getting carried away. Such traits define this wine. There’s not a lot of heft here but there’s enough to satisfy. There’s blackcurrant and gum leaf, mulberry and earth flavour, creamy oak adding a polished sheen. The tannin profile here is about as ultra-fine-grained as you’ll ever encounter. There’s a flush of refreshing acidity too. WineFront.
Deepish red colour with a purple tint. The bouquet is ripe and clean, with raspberry and blackberry fruit and a tinge of violets. The wine is medium to full-bodied in the mouth, with ample soft tannins and no green or bitter bum notes. Good structure and backbone. Lovely wine. The Real Review.
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.
XANADUJohn Lagan and family established Xanadu in the 1977 naming the property after Samuel Coleridge’s epic Kubla Khan or a Vision in a Dream. During the mid-1980s and 1990s Xanadu created a strong following for its muscular but energetic wines. After a brief interlude as a public company, it is now once more in private hands as part of the Rathbone Wine group. The Rathbone family has instigated a complete revitalisation of vineyard and wine making practise including lowering yields and optimising regional nuance. The 85 ha property is farmed along low input/organic lines and winemaking follows a minimal-intervention philosophy. Under winemaker Glenn Goodall, Xanadu is enjoying a major renaissance.