The West

Margaret River wine talk (and the wine review)
Margaret River wine talk (and the wine review)

Saracen soak up win

Saracen Estate’s newest wines caught the attention of judges at last week’s Winewise Small Vignerons Awards.

The vineyard’s first vintage of 2009 Sparkling Maree and 2009 reserve cabernet sauvignon took out gold medals at the awards, which recognise producers who crush 250 tonnes or less for their own label.

The winery was also awarded a silver medal for its first vintage 2010 reserve chardonnay.

Saracen Estates owner Maree Saraceni said she was most thrilled about the sparkling win.

“The vineyard grows and produces outstanding chardonnays under Bob Cartwright’s guidance,” Mrs Saraceni said.

“Sparklings are predominantly chardonnay and using methode traditional, a wine of outstanding qualities is generally made.”

Mrs Saraceni decided to produce a sparkling to round out its premium wine range and she believed their first attempt at the style was world class.

“Made using the methode traditional technique, this wine has spent 24 months aging on lees,” she said.

“The style is clean and refreshing with a delicate nose.

“It has vibrant green apple fruit characters delicately interwoven with very fine mousse and a creamy complex yeast.”

Other big winners at the show included Warner Glen Estate, which took out the best blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc trophy for it’s 2010 Margaret River PBF sauvignon blanc semillon.

Stella Bella Wines also received a highly recommended mention for its Serie Luminosa cabernet sauvignon wine.

Enjoy a fun-loving cabernet merlot

Wine review
Winery: Swings and Roundabouts
Wine: Cabernet merlot 2010
Reviewer: Mike Gadd, Wino's

This is the last in the series of reviews involving cabernet merlot blends (for now at least).

I’ve often been asked why, given the growing conditions in Margaret River, we even need to blend these varieties at all.

There are so many possible answers to that question. Fashion. Expectations. Style of wine.

For me it’s about the winemaking.

Most people think merlot is a soft wine, but wine makers know it can be a hard little sucker if not treated with kid gloves.

Unfortunately the clone (there are many kinds of merlot out there) that many have in Margaret River is not something that looks its best nude.

Also, thanks to films like Sideways, which includes the quote “…if anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking any %$#@#& merlot…”, merlot is pretty much a dead duck in the trade.

On the other hand, the cabernet sauvignon clone in Margaret River happens to be a pretty tidy clone that can both be self-expressive, or, welcome a few mates in a blend for something that adds harmony.

In this case, the calming quality influence of our cabernet brings out the best in our schizophrenic merlot.

So, to our last cabernet merlot of the series, the Swings and Roundabouts 2010.

Again at around $20, it sits more towards the ‘have fun drinking’ rather than the ‘furrow your brow and postulate’ end of the spectrum.

As a youngster, it’s fresh and youthful, with a cranberry lift over the usual chocolate, menthol and dark fruit characters we expect from the region.

It’s got a racy edge to the palate, that’s kind of like a dash of raspberry vinegar, but not in a bad way.

It finishes clean and puckering, which is what you want, especially if you’re looking to have more than one glass.

Overall, Margaret River is very consistent with this blend, and if you care to search, you’ll find a few gems that will wow the entire world. Happy hunting.

To win a bottle send the name of the wine and your contact details, including your name and phone number to PO Box 204, Busselton, WA 6280.

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