One of the best wine regions in the world is undoubtedly the Margaret River region of Western Australia.
However due to its remoteness it is also one of the least recognised regions in the world. When your average wine buyer thinks of Australia they no doubt think of Kangaroos (Yellow Tail) Koalas (Bear Crossing) Fish (Madfish , Barramundi, Fishtail) and various other critters that have turned into huge wine brands over the last 10 years, plus the major representatives of the vast region known as SEA ( South East Australia) such as Lindemans, Rosemount, McWilliams.
In order to find some real gems you need to move away from the big brands, leave the South East and venture way out West.
The Margaret River region is a leisurely 3 and a half hours drive south from Perth, the capital of Western Australia, following the beautiful coastline and rugged countryside route that takes you ”down south”.
The climate in Margaret River is maritime, the winters are cold and wet, the summers are warm and dry with the sea breezes and coastal influence.
Key varietals from this region are Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Some of the best Chardonnays in Australia are from the Margaret River region – think Leeuwin Estate Art Series, Vasse Felix Heytesbury, Voyager Estate, Evans & Tate Wildberry Springs. None of these wines are cheap but when you compare them to the great French Chardonnays such as Mersault or Chassagne Montrachet they can stand with their heads held high. This region produces beautiful well balanced Chardonnay not the heavily oaked styles that have previously dominated the market. These Chardonnays win medals and trophies in International Wine shows and are produced by winemakers that have learnt their skills across the world including Europe.
For red wine lovers treat yourself to a great Margaret River Cabernet, compare it to a great Bordeaux, you will be surprised. These wines are not the usual Australian fruit bomb, they are elegant and well structured with fine tannins. The 2004 Thomas Hardy Cabernet just scored 97 points in the 2008 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion the top score for any Australian Cabernet and it hails from Margaret River.
Some other stunning Cabernets currently on the market are, if you are lucky enough to find them, Evans & Tate The Reserve Cabernet 2003, Howard Park 2004 Cabernet, Capel Vale 2005 Cabernet.
Go on treat yourself and explore the fabulous Margaret River Region W.A