LANGTON’S CONFIDENTIAL LIX
This 2018 Margaret River Chardonnay may be priced, as a Confidential or ‘blind’ offer, at just $20 per bottle in sixes, but it fully delivers on its original $35 price-tag. It also enjoys a 95-point rating from James Halliday and is a serious wine, cleverly balancing richness and structure, with hand-picked grapes fermented naturally and matured in French oak (30% new) for seven months.
The wine is sourced from two Margaret River vineyards, one in Yallingup the other in Wilyabrup, both in the favoured northern part of the region. Expect plenty of classic white peach and grapefruit flavours. It was grown and made by a family with deep roots in Margaret River. They started small, 50 years ahead of the rest, and today they’re one of the region’s most important grape-growers and, more recently, winemakers.
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.