Monday, November 17, 2008

WA - good red for under $30/bottle?

I am way behind my reviews from Western Australia, so I will try to catch up today. One of the exercises I thought would be interesting, would be to try to find a good bottle of red from WA for under $30.

The candidates I bought from a local bottle shop were:
- 06 Cape Mentelle Trinders
- 05 Cape Mentelle Shiraz
- 06 Voyager Shiraz
- 05 Stella Bella Cabernet
- 05 Leeuwin Siblings Shiraz
- 05 Howard Park Madfish Shiraz.

The first thing to note is that there are hardly any first label Cabernets below $30. Therefore, Shiraz dominated in the bracket. The one wine which stood out was the 05 Cape Mentelle Shiraz. It had purity of fruit, good concentration, elegance and length.

It is also clear that the cool 06 vintage was not good for reds. The Trinders and Voyager suffered from that and are basically quite light wines.

The Siblings and Madfish are both early drinking styles. The Siblings is very soft and broad, quite appealing to some, I would think. The Madfish has more in your face fruit, but lacks structure.

Finally, the Stella Bella was disappointing. This Cabernet was from a good vintage, but the fruit did not carry the wine through.

Overall, if you want to drink well from WA, you have to shell out some real money. Good quality bargains, which you can find in the Barossa, for example Torbreck's Woodcutters or Thorn-Clarke, are neigh impossible to find, mainly because of lack of scale (still).

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