Best of the West – Margaret River Cabernet Dozen
Consistent brilliance is a nice problem to have. Vintage-after-vintage, at least for the last decade, Margaret River Cabernet has delivered the unparalleled consistency of quality. In this Best of the West Margaret River dozen, get three bottles each from Brookland Valley, Vasse Felix, Howard Park and Xanadu. The case is split over two consecutive vintages – 2014 simply produced exquisite Cabernet and the 2015 vintage did pretty much the same albeit with lower yields.
Brookland Valley Estate Cabernet Merlot 2014
"Here cassis/blackcurrant fruits, bay leaf and black olive are decorously joined by fine, ripe tannin. Gold medal Sydney Wine Show '16"
95 points, James Halliday
Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
"an overall impression of superb balance. The aftertaste is elegant and balanced and more-ish. A ripping cabernet."
95 points, Huon Hooke
Howard Park Leston Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
"Its varietal expression, balance and length are all perfect, the oak and tannin handling no less impressive."
96 points, James Halliday<
Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
"Great colour is no surprise, nor is the majesty of the cassis-filled bouquet and palate."
96 points, James Halliday
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.