Geographe Wine Show – 2015
Barry Weinman: 29th November 2015
The Geographe wine region covers an area of Western Australia south of Mandurah, down to Busselton, at the edge of the Margaret River region. It includes Harvey, Ferguson Valley, Donnybrook, Capel & Busselton.
With various microclimates, it is not surprising that there are a variety of styles produced. Along with the more mainstream varieties, a number of wineries are exploring alternative varietals. Temperanillo in particular seems to be doing well.
Following on from the Geographe Wine Show, the Geographe Wine Association held a tasting of a number of the trophy and medal winning wines.
I chose to focus (somewhat predictably) on Chardonnay and Cabernet, along with Temperanillo. Overall, the quality of the wines was very high, reflecting that these were some of the best in show.
Wine of the show went to Talisman for their “Gabrielle” Chardonnay. Most successful producer went to Smallwater Estate.
Talisman – Chardonnay – Gabrielle – 2014. (RRP $35). Lovely mineral and spice notes, over precise and elegant fruit on the nose. There is a healthy dose of curry-leaf minerality that adds depth. That said, there is intrinsic power and structure here. The palate is full and dense, with grapefruit-like acidity that keeps the balance spot on. Textured and dense, this will build for a few years in the bottle (awarded aGold Medal, Best Chardonnay & Wine of Show).
Smallwater Estate – Chardonnay – 2014. (RRP $25). Quite delicate and refined fruit, with strong peach influences. The palate is supple and fresh, with grapefruit, melon and lemon-like acidity driving the finish. Oak sits firmly in the background. A modern, refined wine of real charm and great value too (awarded a Gold Medal).
52 Stones – Chardonnay – Barrel Select – 2014. A traditional style, with a big, rich and buttery nose. The palate is rich and generous, with no rough edges. There is enough acid to balance the power and richness of the peachy fruit. This gives way to a touch of toast and astringency, courtesy of the oak (awarded a Gold Medal).
Ferguson Falls Wines – Chardonnay – 2014. (RRP $27). Quite an elegant style with gentle stonefruit and creamy notes. The palate is bright and fresh, with peach, nectarine, grapefruit and supple oak. The finish sees the oak add grip and texture, without adding overt flavours. Now to 5 years (awarded a Silver Medal).
St Aiden Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2013 (RRP $30). Opens with a lovely core of ripe blackcurrant fruit over aniseed, and cedary spice. The palate is only medium bodied, perfectly matching the fruit profile. There is a touch of graphite and chalky tannins on the long finish. A savoury treat that is good to go now, but will develop for at least 5 – 8 years (awarded a Gold Medal & Best Cabernet of Show).
Ferguson Falls Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2013 ($27 ex winery). Quite a seductive nose, with soft, approachable fruit. The palate is fresh and fleshy, with gentle grip and structure adding texture. With air, the depth really builds, complemented by fine tannins and oak. Give it time in the glass, or a few years in the cellar (awarded a Gold Medal).
Mandalay Road – Cabernet Sauvignon – Persimmon Paddock – 2014. Fragrant and fine fruit on the nose. The palate is fruit driven, showing blue and blackberries and mulberry highlights, yet the fine structure builds on a finish that is long and supple. Hints of cedar and earthy notes to close. This is an elegant, smart wine that has latent power (awarded a Gold Medal).
Smallwater Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon – Rob’s Block – 2014. (RRP $30). Very similar to the 2013, though the fruit here is more accessible. The palate has fresh, vibrant fruit that is well suited to the winemaking. Whilst the red berry characters are the main focus, the finish gradually gives way to fine tannins, and a lick of savoury oak. A medium bodied wine that is worth a look. Now – 5 years (awarded a Gold Medal).
Moojelup Farm – Cabernet Sauvignon – Thompsons Block – 2013. (RRP $24). Fresh and succulent red currant fruit that is quite delicious. The palate shows tobacco, spice and vibrant fruit. Little in the way of oak apparent, allowing the fruit to shine. The finish is brought together by fine, talc like tannins. A delicious wine that will go a treat with a BBQ this summer (awarded a Silver Medal).
Willow Bridge Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – Coat of Arms – 2013. Hints of plum and spice on the nose. I like this wine for the way it balances ripe fruit with savoury, almost earthy characters. A dense wine that will be well suited to a hearty meal in the cooler months, or with a decent steak off the grill (awarded a Silver Medal).
Bakkheia – Temperanillo – Aequitas 2014. Licorice and tar to the fore on the nose. The palate is chock full of ripe fruit, though this is in no-way overblown. The fresh acidity, supple tannins and oak all serve to keep the finish vibrant. The dense, chewy fruit builds structure with air. This is a powerful wine that would match roast lamb beautifully (awarded a Gold Medal/Best Red Wine/Best WA Alternative Red Wine).
Fifth Estate – Temperanillo – 2014. (Awarded a Gold Medal).
Green Door Wines – Temperanillo – El Toro – 2014. A savoury, fruit driven nose. The palate is delicious. The vibrant fruit has a distinctly savoury tone that is ready made for food. Cherry and menthol fruit is supported by supple wine making. A delicious wine that is my pick for immediate consumption with food (awarded a Bronze Medal).
Ferguson Falls – Shiraz – 2013. Licorice, leather and spice over plum and aniseed. The palate is dense and ripe, with excellent structure and mouth-feel. Closer to the Barossa in style than Margaret River, the finish is long and powerful, with a dusting of fine tannins and acid. Great drinking (awarded a Gold Medal).
* Image courtesy of Talisman Wines