Try classic wines from western Australia | Alistair Gibson
Over the years I have been so fortunate to visit many vineyard regions around the world.
From Rioja to the Barossa Valley, I have had some amazing wine experiences and one of those that has always stuck with me was visiting Western Australia’s Margaret River a few years ago.
I had flown from Sydney to Perth and then driven the three-hour journey down to the Margaret River but it is really only when you get there that you realise just how remote you are.
There is literally nothing between you and Antarctica, you almost feel like you are on the edge of the world.
It is a relatively new vineyard region, the first vines having only been planted in the late 1960s and the first true commercial winery was Vasse Felix.
Now chief winemaker Virginia Willcock is one of Australia’s most awarded winemakers and I recently tasted both of their classic wines which are two of Australia’s most popular.
They are both a great starting point into the range of Vasse Felix wines which I have long hugely admired.
Vasse Felix Classic Semillon Sauvingon Blanc 2020, Margaret River (Tesco £12) is, as the name implies, the classic white blend of Margaret River.
This vintage is 70 per cent semillon and 30 per cent sauvignon blanc, and while it can’t be labelled organic, it is made from organically-grown grapes as the estate is currently under going organic conversion.
The nose has notes of citrus, green apple and a little gooseberry, followed by a really fresh palate with more zesty citrus fruits, bright acidity and a long, clean finish.
This makes a lovely aperitif and would also work well with some fresh seafood or a lemon and courgette risotto.
When it comes to red wines Margaret River is most well known for cabernet sauvignon and Vasse Felix certainly produces some of the finest examples but the winery also produces some interesting shiraz as well.
Vasse Felix Classic Shiraz 2019, Margaret River (Tesco £12) has a little malbec in the blend and is made very approachable with its fruit forward and food-friendly style, definitely not a blockbuster wine.
There are red and black fruits on the nose, with hints of violets, liquorice and dried herbs with a little twist of spice, the palate is medium to full bodied with more dark fruits, supple tannins and a long, very tasty finish.
This would be lovely with some grilled lamb cutlets or slow-cooked beef casserole.