Even hard core Bordeaux lovers have heard of Margaret River.
Three hours south of Perth in Western Australia, the maritime terroir with affinity to traditional French varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, produces Medoc style red blends.
Voyager Estate is one of the most highly respected producers, headed up by winemaker Steve James. 4 km from the sea, with hot days, cold nights and moderating sea breezes, they make excellent Chardonnay too.
Two recommendations from a winemaker’s dinner at Vinoteca in London’s Smithfield are:
Voyager Estate Chardonnay, 2006. Vintage variation is just as common in the so called ‘new world’ as old, yet not often mentioned. 2006 was the ‘coolest year ever’ in Margaret River with low yields, giving an extremely elegant, focused wine. It is no longer available in UK, however, the more expansive and forward 2008 is £134 a case of 6 at Justerinis.
Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot, 2005, £182 a case of 6 Justerinis. Wines made to age are all about the oak. Voyager uses about 30% new French barrels giving grip and spice rather than a mouth full of wood. Steve says Voyager reds are at optimum drinking at 8-10 years: would make a fun dinner party comparison with a Bordeaux wine of the same age and price.
To buy single bottles of Bordeaux, see excellent London independent wine shops Berry Bros, Hanford Wines, Lea & Sandeman, Roberson and The Sampler.
To read reports on Bordeaux, see the websites of UK wine writers Jancis Robinson MW and Tim Atkin MW.
To see investment prices of fine wines including Bordeaux, see Liv-ex.
(photo – quicheisinsane)