Josh Raynolds has released his feature on Australia for Vinous, including reviews of Plantagenet.
Western Australia is one of the most successful areas in the world for producing Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines, especially the Margaret River region. Western Australia’s top wineries have fiercely loyal, well-heeled local followers who support the wines’ often lofty prices. Their best white wines, mostly based on Sauvignon Blanc à la Bordeaux, can also be outstanding, as can Chardonnay and, increasingly, Syrah. There are also a handful of deadly serious producers of world-class Riesling in the area, notably Frankland River and Mount Barker in Great Southern, but Cabernet Sauvignon, often blended with Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties, is the source of Western Australia’s fame.
Inky ruby. Blackcurrant, cherry, pipe tobacco and cedary oak on the highly perfumed nose. Fresh and juicy on the palate, offering smoky red and dark berry flavors that put on weight as the wine opens with air. Finishes spicy, focused and very long, with building tannins and lingering hints of candied flowers and vanilla.
Opaque ruby. Smoky cherry pit, cassis and licorice scents, along with suggestions of olive paste, cracked pepper and violet. Distinctly northern Rhône in character, offering bitter cherry, dark berry and floral pastille flavors with a late hint of smoked meat. Shows refreshing spiciness and lift on the gently tannic, tenacious finish, which leaves a sweet floral pastille note behind.
Pale straw. Stony, sharply focused and pure on the nose, displaying fresh lime and orange zest scents and a hint of candied ginger. Dry and tightly wound, with nervy citrus and orchard fruit flavors showing a refreshingly bitter edge. A suggestion of succulent herbs comes forward on the long, incisive finish, which leaves a touch of candied lime behind.
Brilliant ruby. Textbook Syrah aromas of dark berries, olive paste, violet and smoky bacon on the perfumed nose show distinct Old World character. Ripe, smoke-accented black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors are sharpened and given spicy bite by a suggestion of black pepper. Closes firm and smoky, with a lingering blue fruit quality and chewy tannins.
Light yellow. Aromas of ripe citrus and orchard fruits, with suggestions of honey, vanilla and clove emerging with air. Broad and fleshy on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering fresh pear, melon and tangerine flavors and a suggestion of smoky lees. A hint of tarragon comes up on a long, supple, gently sweet finish that echoes the pear and tangerine notes. I would have guessed from this wine's supple texture that at least some of it had gone through malo, but I'd have been wrong.
On Wednesday the 9th of October a number of wine media personalities attended our exclusive 40 years wine tasting at our Mount Barker Winery and also our celebratory dinner that evening at Maitraya Private Retreat. Among the esteemed guests were James Halliday, Peter Forrestal, Angus Highson, Sara Norris, Julie-anne Sprague and John Jens. Keep an eye out for articles on these events in November 2013.