Skigh Wine: In Review

Skigh Wine

Barry Weinman: 19 March 2023

Skigh Winery takes its name from winemaker Skigh McMannus. Having started his career at Howard Park, Skigh worked vintages at wineries in various wine regions across the globe, before establishing his eponymous winery in 2016.

The premium wines in the range were initially under the Abacus label, but a stoush with Chapel Hill in McLaren Vale has resulted in these wines been labelled Skigh. (Chapel Hill have resurrected the Abacus moniker for a new range of wines).

The panel recently sat down to look at the latest premium releases under the Skigh label and were suitably impressed.

There are no points in this review, given that the wines were tasted unblinded with the winemaker. But the wines are made to reflect the intrinsic quality and style of the fruit and are an honest representation of Margaret River.

They are definitely worth seeking out.


SkighSecond Skin – Blanc de Blanc – 2021. Predominantly Clone 1 from Wallcliffe and Wilyabrup. Picked early to retain acidity and keep alcohol levels in check. Part of the fruit was aged in barrels before bottling. The subsequent wine spent 10 months on lees prior to disgorgement. A fresh style where the chardonnay fruit characters shine. Made in an extra brut (dry) style, the finish is dry and satisfying. An apéritif style that works well. $55

SkighHomage – Chardonnay – 2021. The texture is a feature here. The high-quality fruit has peach and nectarine notes with hints of citrus adding freshness. Fine grained oak plays an important textural role, rather than adding primary flavours. The finish is fine and long. Estate grown fruit (Clone 1), aged in French oak (1/3 new), with lees stirring and partial malolactic fermentation. $58.

SkighLong Lunch – Grenache – 2021. The fruit comes from the Swinney vineyard in Frankland. This is a delightful expression of grenache. Fleshy, vibrant and very long, the cherry-like fruit is a highlight. 15% whole bunch fermentation adds to the vibrancy of the fruit, whilst the oak (20% new) is primarily used to polish the tannins, as opposed to adding any overt flavours. My pick for early drinking. $58.

SkighHome – Syrah – 2021. Estate grown fruit is dense, powerful and textured, with plum and blueberry the key features, supported by peppery spice. The finish is drying and long. From a cooler vintage, with 20% whole-bunch fermentation, this is an excellent example of medium-weight shiraz. $58.

SkighElsie – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2021. From a vineyard on Wildwood Rd in Yallingup, this is a cracking cabernet in a slightly plusher, more generous style than we typically see from the more southerly districts in Margaret River. Redcurrant fruit is supported by a supple texture and fine, polished tannins. The oak (15% new) is imperceptible. Excellent now, or in 10 years. $58.