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Top red at a bargain price
Top red at a bargain price

For just $15 a bottle, wine-drinkers can enjoy a glass of top-notch cabernet sauvignon from a WA vineyard that is so good it would embarrass many higher-priced reds on offer.

Today, The West Australian's wine writer Ray Jordan lavishes praise on one of his favourite wines - the 2011 vintage of Moondah Brook's cabernet sauvignon - as he reveals his top 100 reds of the year.

Describing it as a "cracking good wine" with "masses of intense black fruits displaying power and finesse", Jordan hailed the wine as the best value drop of his top 100 and urged wine lovers to get a case for the winter.

"I didn't expect a bolter from the blue," he writes in the Fresh liftout today. "A wine for under $15 that, if it had snuck into the $25 to $40 bracket, may well have embarrassed a lot of higher-priced wines."

The recognition has delighted Moondah Brook winemaker Courtney Treacher and her team, part of Houghton's winery in the Swan Valley.

Moondah Brook's cabernet sauvignon grapes come from the Frankland River region in WA's Great Southern.

"Last year was a fantastic vintage," Ms Treacher said. "All through to harvesting we were watching the weather. It stayed warm and dry.

"We particularly see that in Great Southern fruit when we have an extended summer.

"It gives the fruit time to develop. Its characters are already there in the fruit and it's full of flavour."

She said the quality of last year's vintage meant they were able to make fewer additions, such as tannins and finings, to improve the flavour and smoothness of the wine.

Jordan also praised the "terrific cabernet" for the "firm tannins and a decent lick of oak that work perfectly into the powerful fruit".

Ms Treacher said about 30,000 litres of the top drop had been produced - enough to fill 40,000 750ml bottles.