Seasonal weather aside, drinking local cabernet – which also happens to be some of the very best wine in Australia – has never made more sense than it does right now.
By Erin Larkin.
As the weather cools off and the fires in our hearths (actual or otherwise) are lit, no doubt plenty of wines have been nobly sacrificed for the greater good of enjoyment. For the inveterate cabernet drinkers out there the change in season won’t matter a jot, but if you drink with the weather, then autumn and winter mean one thing: red wine. Whichever way that particular cookie may crumble in your house, one thing is for certain: the cabernets are starting to sweat right about now, for their time has come. The cooler nights have you whispering as you walk past them, ‘your days are numbered, my friends’.
Margaret River enjoys an enviable position at the very top of the Australian cabernet tree, with wine press in Australia and further afield praising the wines from this little windswept corner of Oz for their high quality, age-worthiness, and deliciousness. Margaret River’s most vocal proponent is undoubtedly James Halliday, describing in his article written for Winemaker of the Year 2020 (awarded to Vanya Cullen) “the Margaret River region is richly endowed with its percentage of 5-red-star wineries – to simply stay where you are is to imperil your very existence in this highly charged world.” The cabernets from Margaret River are so good, that the last two Jimmy Watson trophies awarded to the region for 2014 and 2016 wines, were cabernets. In fact, every Jimmy Watson Trophy ever awarded to a wine from Margaret River - and there have been six in total - have all been awarded to cabernet sauvignon or cab blends. That paints a very clear picture of regional strength. Labelled the ‘king of grapes’, cabernet has carved out an authoritative territory in Margaret River and has an escalating reputation on the rise that shows no signs of slowing down.
There is a well-established group of consistently terrific cabernet makers in the region, the likes of Cullen, Vasse Felix, Woodlands, Moss Wood, Xanadu, Deep Woods, Leeuwin… so here is a list of five you may not have had the chance to look at yet.
Five Cabernets To Try:
2017 Windows Estate Petit Lot Basket Pressed Cabernet Sauvignon – love this medium bodied, elegant and spicy cabernet, much more about the finesse than the oomph. Brilliant packaging completes the already very attractive picture.
2018 Nocturne Wines Sheoak Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – pure, concentrated and pristine cassis fruit. This is an elegant blockbuster. From one of the glory vintages of the region. The cooler vintage 2019 rolling out very soon…
2018 Walsh and Sons Roi Cabernet Sauvignon – another beautiful wine/label combo, Roi is a step outside the box, one you will not regret.
2017 Victory Point Cabernet Sauvignon – Another brilliant cabernet in the hands of a small boutique producer. Located about 15 ks east of Gracetown, and on an approximate parallel.
2016 Grace Farm Cabernet Sauvignon – nestled less than 3 ks from the coast, Grace Farm consistently produce wines of value, poise and charm.