Woodlands Wilyabrup Cabernet Merlot 2015 - Margaret River Western Australia
93/100 - The Wine Front
91/100 - Jeremy Oliver
90/100 - Huon Hooke
Five red stars Australian Wine Companion
"Outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon" - Langton's
Served in Qantas business class
Gary Walsh (The Wine Front ) - "Very good Cabernet at a fair price. Blackberry and dark chocolate, a little dusty cedar oak, mint and tobacco. Medium-bodied, cool, calm and composed, rich with dark fruits mainly (some red) and a savoury flavour, but light on its feet. The gentle drag of tannin, fine acidity, and a grainy and gently sappy finish of excellent length. You’re laughing here."
Evan Schwarten "Woodlands is one of Margaret River’s top producers, along with the likes of Cullen and Moss Wood. They produce some outstanding wines, including their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon. This Wilyabrup Valley Cabernet Merlot is one of their more affordable offerings and is a pretty reliable bet most years."
Huon Hooke "The tannins are very tight and slightly sappy, a little on the green side of the ledger, and there's a hint of bitterness on the follow-through. Decent cabernet."
Qantas Magazine "Dark cherry, blackberry and plumb combined with toasty French Oak and hints of rum and raisin. Reveals layers of red berry fruits combining with fine, gentle tannins, and finishing cool."
James Halliday "Founders David Watson and wife Heather had spectacular success with the Cabernets he made in 1979 and the early '80s...With the advent of sons Stuart and Andrew (Stuart primarily responsible for winemaking), the estate has bounced back to pre-eminence....The top-end wines primarily come from the original Woodlands vineyard, where the vines are over 45 years old."
When David and Heather Watson first established Woodlands in 1973, they were amongst the first six pioneers to plant vineyards in Margaret River and can certainly stake a claim in having helped establish the region's reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon. With the addition of a second vineyard site, purchased in 1998, the Watson family now have 25 hectares of vineyard in the Wilyabrup Valley, which are all maintained by hand using traditional and organic methods and without irrigation - a rarity in this arid corner of Australia.
A true family affair, son Stuart is the winemaker and brother Andrew is in charge of operations. Five red stars from Halliday, consistent excellent ratings for its wine and an "Outstanding" rating for the Cabernet Sauvignon from Langton's identify Woodlands as one of the best producers in the region.
Woodlands ‘Margaret’ is sourced entirely from the Woodlands Vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon portion comes from a slope on the south of Woodlands that wraps around a 90-degree radius from east to north. The fruit on this slope receives a great deal of direct sunlight from morning to mid-afternoon, leading to rich full-bodied wines. The Merlot and Malbec plots that make up the remainder of ‘Margaret’ come from our west-facing slope of deep loam soil. This slope receives the most direct afternoon sunlight at Woodlands and produces more exotic fruit characters in the finished wine.
Margaret River is one of the best-known wine regions in Australia, recognized internationally for the quality of its wines and the natural beauty of the region. Although originally renowned for its unusually refined Cabernet Sauvignon and intensely citrusy Chardonnay varieties, the region now produces Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends and Shiraz.
Located in the south-western corner of Western Australia, it is famous for having a more 'European' wine style than its counterparts across Australia, owing to the regions temperate, coastal location which is very similar to that of Bordeaux.
Cabernet Sauvignon is probably the most famous red wine grape variety on Earth. It is rivalled in this regard only by its Bordeaux stablemate Merlot, and its opposite number in Burgundy, Pinot Noir. From its origins in Bordeaux, Cabernet has successfully spread to almost every winegrowing country in the world.
Cabernet Sauvignon wines always seem to demonstrate common character traits: deep color, good tannin structure, moderate acidity and aromas of blackcurrant, tomato leaf, dark spices and cedarwood.
Used as frequently in blends as in varietal wines, Cabernet Sauvignon has a large number of common blending partners. Apart from the obvious Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the most prevalent of these are Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere (the ingredients of a classic Bordeaux Blend), Shiraz (in Australia's favourite blend) and in Spain and South America, a Cabernet – Tempranillo blend is now commonplace.