Tag: Peter Forrestal

Jul 07 2012

Fraser Gallop: Margaret River’s Most Talked About Winery!

Posted on July 07, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

For an estate that is only 12 years old, Fraser Gallop has certainly attracted a good deal of attention. The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon won two trophies at the Margaret River Wine Show – Best Red Wine of Show and Best Single Vineyard Estate Red, and winemaker Clive Otto was named a finalist in last year’s Gourmet Traveller’s Wine Winemaker of the Year Awards.

Given the pedigree and experience of the team behind the brand, the growing list of accolades for its relatively young wines is probably not surprising.

Founder Nigel Gallop was on a mission to produce premium Bordeaux style cabernets when in 1998 he settled on 17 hectares of land in the Wilyabrup region. The potential of this Bordeaux-like terroir to produce great cabernet had already been proven by the likes of Moss Wood, Cullen, Pierro and Vasse Felix. From the beginning Gallop decided against irrigation, because he wanted to keep yields low and quality high. Today, this intensive, hands-on approach to vineyard management is overseen by vineyard manager Paul Pavlinovich.

As luck or good fortune would have it, in 2006 Gallop secured the services of experienced winemaker Clive Otto. Discussing Otto’s many achievements, wine critic Peter Forrestal observed, “With a hands-on approach to winemaking and a wealth of experience here and abroad, Clive Otto has been crucial to the rise and rise of Margaret River.” (Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year 2011 finalist: Clive Otto, Fraser Gallop by Peter Forrestal, August/September 2011)

Otto joined Fraser Gallop after a long and stellar career at Vasse Felix, where he oversaw the introduction of the flagship Heytesbury wines and insured that the Vasse Felix range was a perennial winner at leading wine shows.

Otto was attracted to Fraser Gallop because it offered … Read the rest

Jun 06 2012

Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvigon: Taking Margaret River Cabernet in a New Direction

Posted on June 06, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In the June/July 2011 edition of Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine, wine critic Nick Bulleid MW offered the following summary of the general style of Margaret River cabernet sauvignon:

Stylistically I see Margaret River cabernet at its best as intensely varietal, with blackcurrant and other dark fruits plus hints of capsicum and herbal overtones often describes as “bay leaf” or “seaweed”. While some drinkers weaned on cabernet from hotter areas regard capsicum and leaf characters as under-ripe, I disagree: they an essential part of high quality cabernet, with one proviso – that the tannins are ripe. Margaret River cabernet certainly has firm tannins in its youth, but they should be evenly mouth-coating and not grasp you around your lips and then reappear as a green, bitter finish. (Captivating Cabernet by Nick Bulleid MW, Gourmet Traveller Wine, June/July 2011)

Rob Mann, chief winemaker at Cape Mentelle, may not necessarily concur with Bulleid’s assessment of the attractiveness of herbal characters in Margaret River cabernet. Since joining Cape Mentelle in 2005, he has made significant changes both in the vineyard and the winery to minimise the herbaceous notes in the winery’s flagship cabernet sauvignon. As he told the Wine Spectator’s Harvey Steiman back in 2007:  “The strong herbal, capsicum (bell pepper), bordering on eucalyptus and menthol flavors, is accepted in Australia as a regional trait. I want minimize that and go for ripe, more classical berry flavors.” (Getting the Green Out in Margaret River by Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 18 October 2007)

 

 

Working with viculturist Ashley Wood, Mann has introduced new imported clones and rootstocks to create a broader spectrum of flavours in the wines, replanted vineyards at closer density to improve the flavour intensity of the grapes, and minimised as much as possible the use of artificial fertilisers.

In … Read the rest

Jun 06 2011

Great Southern, WA: The New Centre for Australian Riesling?

Posted on June 06, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

On Tuesday I attended the Wine Industry of Western Australia’s Taste of Western Australia at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. Rieslings of the Great Southern wine region were the focus of one of the very insightful masterclasses with wine critic Peter Forrestal.

The majestically scenic and wildly remote Great Southern is the largest wine region in Australia.  So large, in fact, that the five already designated sub-regions of Frankland River, Mount Barker, Porongurup, Albany and Denmark only cover 50% of the land mass.

Last year James Halliday named Larry Cherubino Wines “Winery of the Year.” The Cherubino Porongurup Riesling 2009 was Halliday’s top-rated riesling (97 points), beating out some serious Clare and Eden Valley competition. (James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2011)

The gloriously picturesque Porongurup mountain range, 30 km south east of Mount Barker, is also home to Castle Rock Estate. Robert Diletti of Castle Rock makes elegant yet intensely flavoured rieslings, admired for their complexity, great length and ageing potential. The 2010 vintage we sampled in the masterclass was excellent – clear, pure citrus fruit characters superbly balanced by a minerally acidity imparted from the rocky, infertile soil of the ideally situated hillside vineyard.

 

 

 

 

Dilletti also makes the wines at boutique winemaker 3Drops in nearby Mount Barker, another Great Southern sub-region that’s developed an exceptional reputation for its delicately floral, elegant rieslings. The beautifully balanced Gilberts Mount Barker Riesling 2010, which we also sampled, won Best Current Vintage at the prestigious Canberra International Riesling Challenge.

X by Xabregas Fig Tree Riesling 2010 was another stand-out wine from Mt Barker. Made by winemaker Martin Cooper for the Hogan family-owned winery, the winery specialises in single vineyard wines that very much speak of their place and are in an off-dry style that distinguishes them … Read the rest