Tag: Voyager Estate

Nov 11 2010

Showcasing the Margaret River in Sydney

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com wine critic, recently said, “Margaret River has already achieved great things, but not as great as what will follow.” (Final Thoughts on Margaret River, June 2010).

In less than 45 years the Margaret River, one of the most geographically isolated wine making regions in the world, has garnered an extraordinary level of recognition both in Australia and overseas.

And as a recent showcase of 25 labels from the region at the MCA in Sydney last week attests, the Margaret River is still an extremely dynamic and emerging wine region. In addition to the icon wineries, which include Vasse Felix, Moss Wood, Leeuwin Estate and Cullen,  a growing number of small, family-run wineries are making wines of distinction, and many new and long-established wineries are successfully experimenting with a range of different varieties and blends.

Margaret River has long been synonymous with Bordeaux style cabernet sauvignon and cabernet blends. Indeed, at the Showcase I overheard a number of guests say that they were restricting their tastings just to the reds. But Margaret River also makes outstanding chardonnay (Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay and Pierro Chardonnay are rated ‘Exceptional’ and ‘Outstanding’ respectively in Langton’s 2010 Classification of Australian Wine), and many of the wineries make excellent sauvignon blanc/semillon and semillon/sauvignon blanc blends.

For such a young wine region Margaret River has an enviable number of celebrated wineries.  Xanadu, Woodlands, Voyager Estate, Fraser Gallop Estate, Lenton Brae, Wise Wine, Cape Mentelle, Brookland Valley, Celestial Bay, Fermoy Estate, Flametree Wines, Juniper Estate were some of the stand-outs from a long list of acclaimed wineries which were represented at the showcase. Yalumba, the famous brand more commonly associated with the Barossa and Coonawarra, showcased its … Read the rest

Sep 09 2010

Why Great Wine Promotes Healthy and Good Food!

Posted on September 09, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you follow food trends, you would have noticed the explosion of interest in sourcing food locally. This phenomena has been sparked not only by a desire to reduce ‘food’ miles – ie. the distance food has to travel to reach our tables. More importantly, buying local is about promoting sustainability, self-reliance, seasonal and indigenous produce, and supporting family-owned farms that are growing food of very high quality.

Not surprisingly, premier Australian winery restaurants have been at the forefront in promoting regional cuisine and sourcing locally grown produce. And because they expect their suppliers to apply the same exacting standards as they do, the ‘partnership’ is achieving some great results!

Like many wineries in the Margaret River, Voyager Estate has its own highly regarded restaurant. Dedicated to showcasing the best regional fare, Voyager is committed to sourcing producers who share their passion and integrity.

Head Chef Blair Allen treasures the nine year relationship Voyager has built with the small family-owned and run Margaret River Venison Farm, “When the order is placed we know we are speaking to people who know and love their product.” Similarly, Paul Smith, the owner of Station Road Green Grocer, which supplies the Voyager restaurant with all its fresh fruit and vegetables, is “very passionate about great quality produce”.

The Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove Restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria serves food inspired by regional France, but the fresh seasonal produce is sourced from the estate and surrounding Mornington Peninsula farms. Montalto has its own expansive herb and vegetable garden, fruit and nut orchard and berry garden to which chefs make daily visits, harvesting the best of the garden for use in the restaurant. The vineyard also sells its own olive oil.

Cullen Wine’s vineyard in the Margaret River is certified “A” Grade … Read the rest

Sep 09 2010

Australian Cabernet: A Worthy Contender to Shiraz’s Crown!

Posted on September 09, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Campbell Mattinson, the well respected wine critic and a principal author of the popular wine blog The Wine Front, remarked in a recent post, Notes from a cabernet masterclass Tuesday, Aug 10 2010, that “when we talk of what Australian wine does best we invariably mention shiraz first, semillon second, chardonnay or riesling third and then cabernet or pinot noir.” In his opinion, a recent Dan Murphy’s cabernet masterclass, which included stars such as Mount Mary, Cullen, Yeringberg, Balnaves, Wantirna Estate, Petaluma, Yarra Yering, Voyager Estate and Moss Wood, would have equaled, if not surpassed, a similar tasting of  twenty or so Australian top-flight shiraz or chardonnay.

So why isn’t Australian cabernet getting the attention it deserves? In James Halliday’s list of the 100 Top Wines of 2009 and 100 Tops Wines of 2008, the two varieties, shiraz and cabernet, are fairly evenly represented, so you probably can’t argue that top Australian wine critics are biased towards shiraz-based wines. Of course, Penfolds Grange and Henschke’s Hill of Grace have set the bar pretty high for aspiring makers of fine Australian shiraz, and the international profile of Australian shiraz has certainly been lifted by influential American wine critic Robert Parker’s great enthusiasm for the variety. But could fashion also have something to do with it?

In a fascinating article Eric Asimov of The New York Times observes that younger Americans have lost enthusiasm for French Bordeaux, Bordeaux Loses Prestige Among Younger Wine Lovers, 18 May 2010: “Not so long ago, young wine-loving Americans were practically weaned on Bordeaux, just as would-be connoisseurs had been for generations. It was the gateway to all that is wonderful about wine. Now that excitement has gone elsewhere, to Burgundy and the Loire, to Italy and Spain. Bordeaux, some young wine enthusiasts say, is … Read the rest