Margaret River Wines, Western Australia

Margaret River Wines, Western Australia


2017 Vintage Report

The almost perfect vintage.

I’ll start at the beginning.

Being very proud of doing everything myself for the last 10 years, it was slightly off putting to have to undergo major shoulder surgery at the onset of vintage, putting me in a sling for 6 weeks and no use of my arm for a further 6 weeks.

The flip side was I hired an incredible Spanish guy by the name of Valentine.  So this vintage was very much a partnership in the cellar.

And of course a big thank you to my fiancé for her incredible patience.

Most of you would have experienced the weather this year.  It was a very cold summer, resulting in some pasty white people but also some incredible white grapes.  It could have been a very bad year for Reds but luckily the weather cleared up and we had a beautiful long end to Summer.  I fortunately held the reds out for as long as possible so managed to bring in some ripe and delicious reds.

In the cellar, everything worked perfectly.  The press didn’t have a hiccup, all the other machinery worked well, and with very limited space, things just seemed to slot together like a jigsaw.

I can also now move my arm!



Two picks were made, one slightly greener and the other riper fruit.  Again this has resulted in a huge spectrum of flavours, from green bean to passionfruit.  The cooler weather has resulted in incredible intensity of flavour and I’ll state at this stage – the best SBS I have made to date!  There are 2 tanks involved so final blending of the barrel portion is yet to be made.


Woohoo!!  A perfect Chardonnay year.  Awesome fruit, a great press, and some winemaking magic has led to a very complex and intriguing wine.  The Chardonnay, both in tank and barrel has a long way to go but already have the characteristic peach, mandarin, grapefruit, almond, and gun powder notes.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Very early in the piece.  Many different batches, and yet to be blended.  A good year for varietal characters of cassis, berry and bell pepper.  The top Cabernet, fermented in barrel will probably make an inaugural Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.


Always an interesting grape.  This year it is already showing a lot of complexity with the oak beginning to influence.  At this stage there is an array of fresh fruits, plum/cherry and dark berry.

Blackwood Valley Shiraz

Solely for the Naked Wines – art by EVOI Label.

This year the weather has resulted in a more elegant Shiraz than the 2016.  Characters of note are the typical spice with black fruits and already a leather complexity.

Petit Verdot

Always a great blender.  You may notice it in all the red wines.

There you go!  An almost perfect vintage.

Other News.

A pallet of EVOI Wines will be reaching Jamaica in August, including the new Bakenal Label.

Fingers crossed this will be the “go to” wine in the Caribbean.  Also available in Australia.

For all the travellers to Norway, there may still be some 2014 Reserve Chardonnay on the market.  I wish I’d jumped on the container myself.

Finally, I wish everyone a very happy and prosperous “End of Financial Year”.