In this Margaret River Cabernet Upgrade Dozen you’ll find 11 Byron & Harold Gravity Black Label Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 1 Classified ‘Exceptional’ Margaret River Cabernet 2017
The 2018 Gravity Black Label Margaret River Cabernet from Byron & Harold is, to quote James Halliday from his 95-point review, ‘sheer pleasure.’ Dark blackcurrant led fruit rolls over black olives and dried herbs and a slight note of toast from the French oak. Medium-bodied, youthful and crucially delicious, this is a wine for pouring rather than storing.
The confidential 12th bottle is vinified elegance. Indeed that is characteristic of this wine through the vintages, hence its place at the top table in the Langton’s Classification. 2017 was a milder vintage in Margaret River and so the wine is more restrained, if not graceful. This is no diva, but it does have depth. Blue, red and black fruit with violets and bay on the nose. The full-bodied palate is savoury and serious with fine-grained tannins leading to a conclusion of a long life in the cellar. This masterpiece will only get better with age.
Machine-harvested, crushed and destemmed, 10-33 days on skins, matured for 18 months in French oak (29% new). A very well made cabernet, supple and medium-bodied. The fruit and oak are as one, albeit the blackcurrant fruit will emerge on top if there's ever a fight. As it is, sheer pleasure.
95 points, Wine Companion (February 2020)
97 Points, The Real Review
97 Points, Wine Orbit
97 points (April 2020)
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.