AFL and wine tastings
During the weekend of the Grand Final, I headed down to Margaret River. A friend of mine had a room free and I never like to miss a chance to go to Margaret River, especially if it means staying somewhere with friends and at a discount rate!
It’s spring and in the world of footy, that means the grand final. So it’s another grand final with the Hawks but this time, with a different WA team, West Coast Eagles. I support the Dockers and as they unfortunately weren’t in the Grand Final, I decided that instead of watching the game with my friends, I would discover new wineries. And as most people were watching the game, it meant the tasting rooms were rather empty. Good for me!
Knee Deep Wines was my first stop. Just off Caves Road, the winery has a lovely restaurant and cellar door set among the vines established in 2000. I had never been here before, when you only get down to Margaret River for the weekend, it’s hard to see them all! There are so many to explore and taste down south. Knee Deep has 34 hectares of vines here and a restaurant with cellar door, opened in 2006. Lovely setting, set back from the road. The restaurant is nestled among the vines.I was taken through the range by Cicero Salvador.
- 2014 Chenin Blanc, $22 per bottle
- 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, $22 per bottle
- 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, $18 per bottle
- 2014 Rose, $22 per bottle
- 2012 Cabernet Merlot, $22 per bottle
- 2013 Chardonnay, $28 per bottle
- 2012 Shiraz, $28 per bottle
- 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $28 per bottle
Limited Release Family Collection:
- 2012 Kim’s Chardonnay, $45 per bottle
- 2011 Kelsea’s Cabernet Sauvignon, $65 per bottle
- Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, $19 per bottle (375ml bottle)
I really enjoyed the wines, I found there was lovely fruit structure coupled with refreshing acidity and texture and great value at their different price points. The staff were friendly, the location pretty central and it was the perfect way to start an afternoon of wine tastings!
I then headed over to family owned winery Rosily vineyard further up the road and off the beaten track a bit. When I turned up, no one else was there tasting which was great. So Mick, the winemaker and owner was kind enough to not only take me through the wines and the winemaking process but also explaining about the vintages and the history of the winery. It was actually his dad and uncle who set up the winery with the first vines planted in 1994. They’ve gone on to win quite a few awards over the past 20+ years including their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc listed in James Halliday’s top 20 whites.
Mick has many years experience making wine having studied oenology at Charles Sturt University then working vintages around Australia and in France. In Margaret River he worked at Pierro before returning to Rosily in 2014. The name has an interesting history to it. It was named after Comte Francois de Rosily, a French navigator who in 1772 made the first chart of Flinders Bay around Augusta. Although they made claim to this area on behalf of France, it was not to be and the country never became French. Their other wine label is called “Other side of the Moon” which is a local surf break and which Rosily would have seen on his charter.
Production is small with 6000 cases of 12 but family owned and run wineries, brilliant. So much hard work and dedication into the wines and they are reaping the rewards. It’s been organically run for 4 years and they hope to be certified soon. In any case, they are doing their best to maintain a sustainable vineyard in a number of ways including avoiding using synthetic pesticides, using rain water at the winery, minimal irrigation and encouragement of an ecosystem on one part of the property plus much more.
But I’m here to talk about the wines. They were fruit driven with a wonderful freshness and good backbone of acidity. I appreciate I’m generalising slightly here but really the wines delivered, I enjoyed them, they are reasonably priced, the winemaker is lovely and it’s family run. They don’t have budget for tons of marketing but what they lack in marketing funding, they make up in other areas (like the wine)! Next time you’re down south or at local independents like Swanbourne Cellars, drop in and buy a few to see for yourself!
I tried the below wines:
- 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, $19
- 2014 Semillion, $19
- 2014 Semillion/Sauvignon, $20
- 2013 Other Side Of The Moon, $18
- 2012 Merlot, $20
- 2011 Cartographer Cabernet Merloet, $23
- 2010 Shiraz, $23
- 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $25
On the way back home I stopped into one of my favourite wineries; Windows Estate. I have written notes about my previous visit here. Needless to say, Fabien took me through the wonderfully structured wines. Then I headed over to the new Yallingup Cheese Company to sample a few of their texturally different and interesting cheese.