PLAN B ‘The King’ Chardonnay, Margaret River
Plan B’s winemaker is Bill Crappsley, who has racked up more than 50 vintages in a career spanning almost 50 years. He has made wines all over Australia, and some of them have won major trophies. This is a modern Chardonnay from the Margaret River region of Western Australia, which has proven itself as the source of many of Australia’s best examples. Plan B ‘The King’ is fine, elegant and long. Sourced from vineyards across the southern, cooler end of the district and bottled while still fresh and lively. The King is nervy and elegant, with a mineral accent and backbone of citrussy acidity. The velvet cloak, the creamy countenance and steely resolve, it's all there, in perfect juxtaposition. As Plan B says: ‘If the crown fits, wear it.’
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.