Cherubino: June 2020

Barry Weinman: 14th June 2020

Larry Cherubino first came to attention in the late 1990s as senior winemaker at Houghton. Larry oversaw an expansion of the range, and was responsible for making some brilliant (and great value) wines from across the state. The 1998 Moondah Brook Cabernet is still brilliant drinking for example.

What was even more remarkable though, was the fact that Larry was relatively new to winemaking, having only graduated from horticulture in 1994.

The Cherubino label started in 2005 and expanded rapidly. Larry must surely be one of the most ambitious (and busiest) winemakers in Western Australia, such is the sheer variety of wines that he produces. At last count, there were almost 60 wines for sale on their website, spanning seven different labels.

Labels include:

  • Folklore
  • Apostrophe
  • Ad Hoc
  • Pedestal
  • The Yard
  • Laissez Faire
  • Cherubino

In the Cherubino range alone, there are six different Cabernets spanning the South-West corner of the state. And then there are the wines he makes under contract for other producers.…

Luckily for us, the wines are uniformly excellent. From the $13 Folklore range, right through to the Cherubinos, they also often represent brilliant value.

As the state starts to open up, I would also recommend a visit to the cellar door in Margaret River. Here you can taste a cross- section of the range, including the premium wines, and enjoy a great (value) glass of wine on a sunny afternoon.

Cherubino may not be a household name in Western Australia, but it should be, such is the quality and value of the wines produces.


Folklore – Classic White – 2019 (17.3/20pts – $13). Tropical fruit, with just a touch of oak and gentle lees work adding depth and filling out the finish. Textural and food friendly.

Cherubino – Sauvignon Blanc – Channybearup – 2019 (17.8/20pts – $25). High quality fruit with grassy/herbal notes and even a touch of lantana. The palate is packed with lemony citrus notes over gentle straw and lees/barrel work characters. A compelling wine.

Ad Hoc – Chardonnay – Hen & Chicken – 2019 (17.3/20pts – $). I like that the fresh fruit notes are supported by complex, textural winemaking inputs, but these are not overt features. The palate is dense and textured, with a degree of viscosity. Long and fine.

Apostrophe – Possessive Red – 2018 (17.7/20pts – $16). Pretty, vibrant and quite seductive. The floral notes on the nose and palate are framed by supple, savoury textural components. The oak (new & 1y/o) adds depth, without impeding the fruit’s transition across the palate. Pepper and spice to close. Uncomplicated ,delicious and great value. Now – 5 years.

The Yard – Shiraz – Riversdale – 2018 (18.4/20pts – $35). Aromatic and perfumed, with hints of chocolate and spice on the nose. The palate has chewy plum and cherry-like fruit, supported by supple, savoury oak. A more serious, age-worthy style that has undeniable quality. Firm, textural and dense, this wine is all potential right now. For the patient.

The Yard – Cabernet Sauvignon – Riversdale – 2018            (18.3/20pts – $25). Dense, powerful and taut, with excellent depth. Yet remains elegant, refined and balanced, with hints of mint and eucalypt complementing the berry fruit. Somewhat linear, this really needs 5 – 10 years to open up (or time in a decanter). Shop around for a great bargain!

Ad Hoc – Pinot Noir – Cruel Mistress – 2018 (17.8/20pts – $25). Pretty red fruit and black cherry aromas. The palate is delicious and seductive. The ripe fruit is balanced by supple mouthfeel and gentle earthy, spicy notes that add texture. Not overly complex, but a great drink and good value to boot.