Sunday, September 25, 2005

What Robert Parker thinks of Margaret River

Let's start this blog the way we can't possibly carry on - with an expert rating his Top 10 wines from the region - and then descend into the mediocrity that will undoubtedly follow as I try to do my thing...



1999 Three Hills Shiraz
95 points
Three Hills
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Syrah
2002-2014
$37
Wine Advocate #143 (Oct 2002)

An opaque purple color is followed by sweet, complex aromas of white flowers, blackberry liqueur, smoke, camphor, and a hint of rosemary. The wine possesses an unctuous texture, terrific fruit purity, an extraordinary palate presence, and incredible balance despite its lofty 15.4% alcohol (all concealed behind the wealth of fruit, glycerin, and extract). This compelling Shiraz suggests magnificent wines from this varietal can be made in western Australia.

Sadly, there are only 300 cases of what may be the finest Shiraz I have ever tasted from western Australia. The debut release from proprietor Erl Happ (who is worried Americans "may have to thin this wine with water"), this 1999 is from a young vineyard planted in a southern portion of Margaret River known as Karridale. Aging in large foudres rather than smaller barriques resulted in minimal oak characteristics. Anticipated maturity: now-2014.

2001 Gralyn Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
Gralyn
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon
(a dry red table wine)
2004-2019
$95
Wine Advocate #155 (Oct 2004)

One of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted from Margaret River, and certainly worthy of the best vintages of the famed Leeuwin Estate, is Gralyn Estate’s 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon. A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made from 26-year-old dry-farmed vineyards, it was partially barrel-fermented, and aged 24 months in primarily new French oak. It is a fabulously well-defined beauty boasting a dense purple color in addition to a sweet, creamy nose of black currants, licorice, and spice box. With fabulous texture, tremendous purity, admirable presence in the mouth, and great individuality as well as soul, this stunning Cabernet is still somewhat primary, but should evolve for 10-15 years.


1999 Leeuwin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Art Series
94 points
Leeuwin Estate
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon
(a dry red table wine)
2005-2023

Wine Advocate #155 (Oct 2004)
I tasted the 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Art Series several months ago and again rated it 94+. It is a gorgeous Cabernet that is much richer and more multidimensional than the 2000.


2000 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series
93 points
Leeuwin Estate
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Chardonnay
(a dry white table wine)
2003-2009
$65
Wine Advocate #148 (Aug 2003)

The 2000 Chardonnay Art Series is one of the greatest Chardonnays I have ever tasted from Australia. Possessing the texture, intensity, and precision of a great grand cru white Burgundy, it builds subtly in the mouth offering huge flavor intensity, yet managing to remain elegant as well as restrained, authoritatively rich, and intense. Notes of butter, oranges, honeysuckle, and pears are apparent, with the oak component kept well in the background. Tremendously intense and powerful, yet subtle, this young Chardonnay should drink well for 5-6 years, possibly longer.

2001 Moss Wood Chardonnay
93 points
Moss Wood
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Chardonnay
(a dry white table wine)
2003-2006
$42
Wine Advocate #148 (Aug 2003)

From a drought year in Margaret River, the 2001 Chardonnay exhibits tremendous texture in addition to a perfume of white peaches intermixed with hazelnuts, minerals, and orange rind. It smells like a top-class Puligny-Montrachet from the likes of Domaine Leflaive. With good acidity, medium to full body, great fruit purity and clarity, and a long, pure finish, it should drink well for 2-3 years, possibly longer.


1999 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
Moss Wood
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon
(a dry red table wine)
2005-2020
$55
Wine Advocate #143 (Oct 2002)

This is a beautifully elegant offering.

The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon's opaque purple color accompanies a sweet perfume of smoke, black currants, and licorice. This full-bodied Cabernet possesses noticeable tannic structure yet gorgeously sweet as well as pure fruit, a layered texture, and a long, spicy finish. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020.

1996 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
Moss Wood
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon
(a dry red table wine)
2003-2020
$55
Wine Advocate #127 (Feb 2000)


Cabernet lovers looking for a compelling example of this commonly encountered varietal should check out the expensive but profound 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon. Opaque purple in color, with a striking bouquet of olives, cassis jam, beef blood, minerals, earth, and new wood, this massive, super-concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon should prove to be a great classic from down under. It is oozing with flavor extraction, has high tannin, and cuts a formidable path on the palate. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2020. Bravo!

2001 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
Moss Wood
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon
(a dry red table wine)
2006-2014
$55
Wine Advocate #155 (Oct 2004)

It is undeniable – the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon blows away its siblings. The winery’s flagship offering, it spends 22 months in French oak, of which 50% is new, and includes a small percentage of Merlot (5-6%) in the blend. A terrific Margaret River Cabernet, it boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as a big bouquet of creme de cassis intermixed with licorice, vanilla, and spice box. Medium to full-bodied, layered, but subtle, it will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age, and keep for over a decade.

1994 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
Moss Wood
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon
(a dry red table wine)
1998-2013
$30
Wine Advocate #115 (Feb 1998)

The very dense 1994 is similar in style to the 1995, and may have been produced from riper fruit given its lower acidity and more roasted, inky, jammy character. It is a large-scaled, full-bodied, beautifully-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon that is impressive to both smell and taste. It will benefit from 2-3 more years of bottle age, and last for 15+ years. This is a very impressive Cabernet Sauvignon.

One of the original Margaret River wineries, this Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a vineyard planted in 1969. It is made from small yields of approximately 2 tons of fruit per acre. It is an explosive, rich, opulently-textured wine that represents the essence of Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon.

1995 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
Moss Wood
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon
(a dry red table wine)
1998-2013
$30
Wine Advocate #115 (Feb 1998)

The dense purple-colored 1995 exhibits a classic black current, cedar, and spicy-scented nose, full body, outstanding richness and power, and brilliant definition and length. Although still grapy and unevolved, it should age effortlessly for the next 12-15 years. It will benefit from 2-3 more years of bottle age. This is a very impressive Cabernet Sauvignon.

One of the original Margaret River wineries, this Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a vineyard planted in 1969. It is made from small yields of approximately 2 tons of fruit per acre. It is an explosive, rich, opulently-textured wine that represents the essence of Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Yes, I reckon he likes Moss Wood, too.

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