A very exciting day today as we were joining Margaret River Tours for their Full Day Gourmet Wine & Dine Tour… after 6 weeks in Asia with nothing more than a single glass of red – it was time and safe to say I was completely ready for a full day of wine!
We left our completely brilliant Air BNB (Tall Trees if you are in the area, fantastic!), with Matt our driver, collected the other guests and arrived at Stella Bella cellar door for our first tasting at 10am. Stella Bella is a fairly large producer in the area but has a cute little wooden cellar door where the tastings take place right next to the vines. Their main line is Stella Bella but they also produce th Skuttlbutt, Suckfizzle and Serie Luminosa ranges. Our list of tastings included the big hitters from the area – all from the Stella Bella range.
Whites: 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Chardonnay – which is a low oak chard that wound the 2009 best Chardonnay in the world and has received 95% from James Halliday (whoever he is…?)
Reds: 2014 Shiraz, 2015 Cabernet Merlot, 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Suitably warming to the idea of drinking at 10am we went on to the huge Leeuwin Estate, which is absolutely stunning with a long drive that took about 10 minutes to get up. They were mid prep for their annual outdoor concert which has seen performers such as Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Sting and Stevie Wonder strut the stage in the amazing gardens. This weekend they had James Taylor performing but at we were going to be elsewhere we made do with tasting the wine and checking out some of the extensive art collection.
Whites: 2015 Art Series Riesling, 2015 Siblings Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, 2015 Art Series Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Prelude Vinyards Chardonnay, 2013 Art Series Chardonnay – which James Halliday awarded 98%
Reds: 2013 Art Series Shiraz, 2012 Prelude Vinyards Cabernet Merlot, 2012 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon
Next stop was the Watershed winery, and sensibly our spot for lunch after the wine tasting to soak up some of the booze! But first there were several wines to get through!
Whites: 2016 Shades Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Shades Chardonnay, 2015 Awakening Chardonnay, 2016 Shades Rose, 2014 Late Harvest Viognier
Reds: 2013 Senses Sangiovese, 2013 Senses Shiraz, 2014 Senses Caberet Merlot, 2013 Senses Zinfandel
Feeling a bit tipsy we sat down for a lovely lunch in a gorgeous setting – i had the barramudi and Wayne went for the lamb.. all with – yep – another glass of wine.
We were joined by another couple on our way to the Voyager estate – which is set in completely stunning gardens full of roses to try the Voyager wines.. This vineyard is more of a folly for the owners rather than a business so the hosts were far more generous with their measures than the other places…hic…
Whites: 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Semilion, 2014 Chardonnay, 2016 Chenin Blanc
Reds: 2013 Girt by Sea Cabernet Merlot, 2013 Shiraz
And for a treat – we had an extra one which was the 2016 Shiraz Rose, which is one of their project wines where the wine makers are allowed to make what ever they fancy.
Next was the McHenry Hohnen estate which is run by 2 brothers in law, they also have a side line in meats – so with our wines we tried a range of their cured meats including a lamb chorizo that was just yum…
Whites: 2015 Rocky Road Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Rocky Road Chardonnay, 2012 Amigos white, 2016 Amigos Rose
Reds: 2013 Rocky Road Cabernet Merlot, 2014 Rocky Road Shiraz, 2015 Amigos Red.
And finally… because we really were twisted at this point, we tasted at the Vasse Felix winery.. I completely forgot to pick up a card and i can’t log what we tried but hey.. it was a great day.