Cherubino in 2023: The Classics Revisited

Cherubino in 2023: The Classics Revisited

Barry Weinman: 1st May 2023

The last time I checked, Larry Cherubino was producing almost 70 different wines from fruit sourced across the south-west of Western Australia. Many of these wines are produced from less mainstream varieties (such as Fiano and Tempranillo) or from mainstream varieties made using alternative winemaking techniques.

But the core of the range remains the superb wines made from cabernet, chardonnay, riesling and shiraz, from vineyards spread across the south-west.

And the wines are in sparkling form. The rieslings and the Margaret River Chardonnay in particular were very special indeed.


CherubinoGreat Southern – Riesling – 2022. Crisp and taut, yet simultaneously silky and fine. There are concentrated lime juice fruit characters, without the aggressive acidity associated with the fruit. The length of flavour is excellent, with the citrus notes lingering for what feels like minutes. But the most impressive feature of all is the texture and mouthfeel. There is a degree of viscosity and minerality that sets this apart. An intense wine. 95pts – $39.

CherubinoFrankland River – Riesling – 2022. Fine, restrained and elegant, but this is not austere or aggressive in the slightest. Rather the palate has cascading fruit from front to back highlighted by lime-like acidity and texturing minerality. The latter is a key feature of this wine. Will benefit from extended aging, but is already a special wine at this early stage. 95pts – $35.

CherubinoLaissez Faire – Riesling – 2020. Here, the phenolics have been turned up, making for a very textural/viscous wine with plenty of character. The high-quality fruit is somewhat subdued, and needs a little more time to unwind. This is an impactful wine with plenty of character, which would be a great accompaniment to gently spiced food. 93pts – $35.

CherubinoMargaret River – Chardonnay – 2021. Pretty pretty floral and stonefruit characters that are quite stunning, even if it is not quite typical of Margaret River (The fruit was Dijon clones 95 &96 rather than the more typical Gin Gin clone. The palate made me swoon, such is the beauty on show here. The pristine fruit has been hung on a frame of silky oak (60% new) and subtle winemaking inputs (only 10% went through malolactic fermentation). A gorgeous wine. 13% alc, 96pts – $75.

CherubinoDijon – Wychwood Vineyard – Chardonnay – 2022. Another fine wine though here, the fruit flavours have been wound back and the minerality and texture has been turned up a notch. With svelte nectarine and grapefruit, this is a very smart wine, but it needs a couple of years to be at its best. Interestingly, this uses the same Dijon clones (95 & 96) as the Margaret River Chardonnay. 12.9% alc. 94pts – $70.

CherubinoFrankland River – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2019. Not as dense as some for Margaret River, but no less impressive. Here the fruit slowly builds in the mouth, with hints of Ribena showing around the edges. It is not quite seamless right now, as the talc-like tannins just shut down the fruit slightly on the finish, but this is a super-impressive wine that will drink well for a decade or two. With time in the glass the rich, dense fruit really builds, supported by fine grained oak. 14.5% alc, 95+pts – $120.

CherubinoFrankland River – Shiraz – 2020. This is just a baby. Intense cherry and berry fruit, with gentle spice/pepper and bright, souring acidity that keeps this in check right now. There is excellent length of flavours, but this needs several years for the acid to settle back and allow the high quality fruit to shine. Points for potential. 94pts – $65.

CherubinoBlock 7 – Shiraz – 2020. Oh, I like this wine a lot. Plum, minerality, spice and hints of anise all present on both the nose and palate, but it is the way the flavours and texture flow across the palate that sets this apart. The tannin grip adds texture, but does not impede the fruit. Excellent drinking now, or in ten years. A lovely wine from the Riversdale vineyard. 94+pts – $45.

The YardRiversdale Vineyard – Shiraz – 2020. Fresher, the pristine fruit is the focus here. Supple, subtle winemaking adds texture and depth, leading to a finish that is silky, long, fine and elegant. Excellent. 93pts – $35.