A Year to Remember
Barry Weinman: 27th June 2021
Margaret River has been blessed with a seemingly never-ending run of very good vintages, starting with the 2007 vintage and continuing to this day. I am not aware of any other region globally that has ever been able to achieve this level of consistency!
But this success is not the whole story as there has been considerable vintage-to-vintage variation. However, modern viticultural practices and sensitive winemaking techniques have enabled the region as a whole to prosper.
2017 is an excellent example. After the warmer and drier than average 2016 vintage, 2017 was significantly cooler and wetter. This mandated significant work in the vineyard to ensure healthy ripe grapes were delivered to the winery.
And for many, the results were outstanding. More restrained and elegant, yet with perfectly ripe tannins. Different in style? Yes. But the quality of many of the top wines were outstanding and worthy of extended cellaring.
2018, by contrast was a winemaker’s dream. The warm (but not overly hot) weather continued right through to harvest, with no major rain events to worry about. Many are claiming that this is one of the greatest Margaret River vintages for Cabernet on record.
2019 was another cooler year where Chardonnay really shone.
And whilst most producers have already sold out of these vintages, Xanadu has just launched their premium wines and they are worth seeking out.
Xanadu – Stevens Road – Chardonnay – 2019. This is impactful, powerful and intense, with nectarine and tropical fruit to the fore. High-quality oak/barrel ferment notes add the highlights, whilst lemon zest and fine acidity carry the very long finish. This is a statement wine that demands attention. 95pts – $80
Xanadu – Reserve – Chardonnay– 2019. Fine and elegant with great poise. Yet there is tremendous depth and innate power sitting behind the peach-like fruit characters. The high-quality oak has been pared back, adding depth and texture without overly flavouring the wine. Zest builds on the very long finish. Outstanding. 96pts – $110
Xanadu – Stevens Road – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018. This is something of a gentle giant. There is powerful fruit, firm, structured oak and tannins, yet there is a warm heart nestling underneath all of the bravado. Opulent blackcurrant and eucalypt supported by graphite-like tannins and superb oak handling. Now – 20 years. 95pts – $80