The Wines of Margaret River

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Are good. As a group of good friends and I discovered this past weekend at a birthday weekender down in this glorious little wine region with such a big reputation. Of course I’ve liked Margaret River wines for a long time, but perhaps didn’t have a full appreciation for the beauty and finesse of good Cabernet and Chardonnay.

Specifically the Cabernet from Moss Wood, where we were given a great tour by wine maker Josh Bahen (cheers Max!) and had a chance to try some of the blended 07 Cabernet, and unblended batches of the 08 Cabernet Sauvignon. A great experience and also a learning opportunity for most of us (well some of us, who weren’t trying to get drunk by 11am).

Of course, it is hard to maintain an air of sophisticated wine appreciation when you are being chauffeured around the place in a limousine while wearing novelty hats… but I think we almost managed to pull it off.

Other stand outs were the Grenache from Moss Brothers, the 07 Chardonnay and 05 Cabernet from Hay Shed Hill, 07 Riesling from Clairault, 04 Cape Grace Cabernet, and 07 Lenton Brae Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

Of course the region is not just about Cabernet and Chardonnay. It’s increasingly becoming know for producing excellent Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc blends, and there are many a great drinking Shiraz to be found as well.

If you haven’t been for a tour and you live in W.A… shame on you :)

What I did on my holiday

The essence of the country holiday Lamonts Bunyip Rose

Remember when you came back to school after that long summer break, and the teacher would ask each of the kids to write a story about what they did on their holidays ? I’d sit there for ages trying to think of good things to say, and ways to impress my fellow 7 year olds with insightful remarks and meaningful events, when I had actually been sitting in my room for 2 months making lego men go to war in space.

These days I’m greatly relieved to discover that the essence of a good holiday is no longer eating as many hot dogs as possible before throwing up on a roller coaster. So our meanderings in the wonderful South West of Western Australia (Augusta and Margaret River to be precise), were just the ticket to ease our way into summer with a little wine, a lot of food, and as minimal exercise as possible.

So in bullet form, the major highlights of the holiday season were:

– Eating too much food on Christmas Day
– Drinking too much wine on Christmas Day
– Cutting half my thumbnail off while chopping vegetables after drinking too much on Christmas Day
– Settling into our new apartment in Northbridge
– Playing Wii !
– Having a low key NYE will Charles Melton Rose and blue cheese
– Going down to Augusta/Margaret River on New Years Day
– Visiting many wineries including Leeuwin Estate, Cape Mentelle, Cullen, Howard Park, Rockfield, Vasse Felix, Moss Wood, Voyager, Woody Nook, and a bunch of others I’m sure I’m forgetting
– Roaming through the caves along Caves Rd, specifically the self guiding Giants Cave
– Cooking coq au vin for 10 people
– Cooking backstrap of venison for 7 people
– Watching kangaroos fight in the paddock outside our holiday house
– Driving back to Perth the long way through Yallingup and Dunsborough
– Stopping for lunch at the ever delicious Lamonts
– Having a swim at Mellup Beach.
– Chilling out at “Summer Daze” and trying to forget that I had to go back to work on Monday.

I hope all of your holidays were great too :)