‘The top of the Deep Woods tree...’ as Mike Bennie put it in 2016. The Grand Selection wines (this one from Wilyabrup, and a stablemate from Yallingup) are only made in exceptional vintages, and only then in very small quantities.
When produced, each wine comes to around 100 dozens, representing Deep Woods’ best two barrels of each of these two Cabernet sub-regions within the Margaret.
Expect powder-fine tannins, a complex mesh of fruit and herbs, and prodigious length. It will age gracefully for a decade or more.
Open-fermented, with 12 days on skins. Matured for 18 months in French oak, with a selection of only five barrels, one new, then blended and bottled, with 2 years maturation prior to release. 110 dozen made. Just when you think the '14 Deep Woods Reserve could not be bettered, along comes this even more graceful and fluid wine, intensely perfumed with violets and cedar, the array of varietal fruit flavours gliding through the prodigious length of the palate. Sheer perfection.
98 points, Wine Companion (January 2016)
"A very fresh, ripe and dark-berry fruited nose that still holds very primary fruit aromas, ahead of leaves and fresh roasting herbs. The palate is so silky and youthful and builds exceptionally fresh and fleshy fruit presence into the back palate. Long and silky tannins. Very plush and driving tannins at the finish. This has a long life ahead. Drink over the next decade or more."
95 points, jamessuckling.com (June 2019)
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.