Xanadu 2023 Premium Releases.

Xanadu 2023 Premium Releases.

Barry Weinman: 22nd June 2023

There is no better way for me to assess the quality of a wine than to taste it in a masked line-up of some of Australia’s best wines of the same variety.

So it was with the new premium release cabernets and chardonnays from Xanadu under the Reserve and Stevens Road labels.

In both line-ups, the wines starred, pointing highly in both cases.

What was interesting was that there were no perceptible quality differences between the two ranges. The styles, however, were different, reflecting the differences in terroir between the sites.

Given that the Stevens Road wines can be bought for under $90, this makes them particularly good value. (The Reserve wines at $120 also represent decent value.


XanaduStevens Road – Chardonnay – 2021. This is a slightly different take on Margaret River chardonnay. There is pristine fruit (nectarine and grapefruit) and supple winemaking that serves to add texture, but does not impede the fruit in any way. This is, however, a tight wine that is quite shy right now. But in time (5 – 10 years), everything is in place for this wine to blossom. Sensitively made in a very modern style. 95pts – $90.

XanaduReserve – Chardonnay – 2021. This is such a complete wine and quite beautiful. The fruit is intense and powerful, yet fine and elegant with lovely poise and balance. Supple stonefruit, gentle citrus and wonderful texture from the lees and barrel work are supported by grapefruit-like acidity that adds life and freshness. A superb drink now with air, and also cellar worthy. 96pts – $120.

XanaduStevens Road – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2020. Classic cabernet, with cooler region fruit of the highest quality. This is quite powerful, with the Houghton clone fruit holding its own with the firm tannins and oak. An excellent dry red that, whilst approachable, has a very long future ahead. 96pts – $90.

XanaduReserve – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2020. The fruit for this comes from the Lagan & Boodjidup vineyards adjacent to the winery. This is another special wine, but it is very young and only just starting to emerge from its winemaking cloak. With air, both red and black fruits emerge, with hints of savoury chocolate and high-quality oak that has been superbly integrated into the fruit. This is really very good indeed. 96pts – $120.