New Release Margaret River Cabernet – February 2024

New Release Margaret River Cabernet – February 2024

Barry Weinman: 22nd February 2024

Whilst it appears that every year is a good year in Margaret River, there are clear vintage variations that impact on the style of the wines. And some years are just that little bit better. 2018 was lauded as one of the best vintages of recent times, and the 2020 appears to be at least as good.

And now 2022 is staking a claim.

The wines below are due for release in the coming months, and are definitely worth seeking out.

The 2020 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet reaffirms Leeuwin’s place in the upper echelon of Cabernets. And the fact that this is available (pre release) from the winery for $105 makes it a bargain.

Nocturne’s 2022 Sheoak Vineyard is yet to be released, but assuming a price under $70, then this too is a great bargain. Whilst Nocturne is not a producer that is widely known, the wines are made by Julian Langworthy (from Deep Woods), a winemaker at the top of his game right now.

Speaking of value, the Grace Farm Cabernet Malbec 2018 is a great buy at $40. A trophy and gold medal winning wine from the sought-after 2018 vintage. This is a wine that is ready to go right now.


Nocturne – Sheoak Vineyard — Cabernet Sauvignon – 2022. Brilliant cabernet that, like Baby Bear’s porridge in Goldilocks, is just right. Medium bodied, seamless, fine and elegant. The winemaking (oak) is very much in the background, with the fruit front and centre. It is only on the close that the structural components start to build, adding texture and depth, whilst being in no way aggressive The graceful palate transition is a highlight. A wonderful wine (in a very heavy bottle). Made using estate grown fruit. 14.5%alc, 95-96pts – $TBC.

Leeuwin Estate – Art Series – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2020. Whilst at 13.5%, this has the same alcohol level as the 2022 Cullen Diana Madeline, this is a riper, more accessible style that allows the fruit to shine. That said, the structure and power continues to build in the mouth for some time after it is swallowed, making for a textural, impactful wine that remains supple all the way to the very long close, with the fruit lingering the whole time. Impressively subtle power here. Great drinking now or in 30 years (the 1991 is drinking brilliantly now). Another stellar wine that cements Leeuwin Estate in the highest echelon of Margaret River cabernet producers. 13.5% alc, 95-96pts – $102.

Cullen – Diana Madeline – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2022. Yep, this is good. In fact, it is very good indeed, but here the fine tannins and oak suppress the fruit initially. These are never aggressive, but they do require a bit of patience to let them settle down and relax. By doing so, you will be handsomely rewarded. Another cracking wine from one of the greats. 13.5% alc, 95pts – $TBC.

Grace Farm – Cabernet/Malbec – 2018. Impressive! Act one is the fruit which has immediate impact, flooding the nose and palate with fleshy berry fruit. Act two is the acid that keeps the fruit balanced and in check. The supporting cast includes the oak (44% new) and tannins, which build the mouthfeel and texture, without taking anything away from the fruit. A single vineyard blend of cabernet sauvignon (80%), malbec (8%), petit verdot (7%) and cabernet franc (5%). 14.0%, 95pts – $40.