Woodlands Wilyabrup Cabernet Merlot 2017 - Margaret River Western Australia
95/100 Nick's Wine
94/100 The Wine Front
92/100 James Halliday
90/100 Jeremy Oliver
95/100 Nick's Wine (2016 Vintage)
93/100 The Wine Front (2016 Vintage)
93/100 The Wine Front (2015 Vintage)
91/100 Jeremy Oliver (2015 Vintage)
90/100 Huon Hooke (2015 Vintage)
Five red stars Australian Wine Companion
"Outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon" - Langton's
Served in Qantas business class
Gary Walsh (The Wine Front ) "An interesting exercise tasting the 2016 alongside 2017, and while similar, you can certainly see a marked difference between the wines, not only due to an extra year of bottle age. His Most Purpleness on show here. Boysenberry, mulberry, violet, slight youthful char, liquorice, spicy biscuits. It’s medium-bodied, so brightly lit and well-defined, a coolness and distinct ‘minerality’ to the acidity, precise and tight, fine graphite tannin, and an effortlessly long finish. This is one out of the box."
James Halliday "This sets the scene for a leafy fresh, lighter framed red best enjoyed in its youth. It offers cassis, mulberries, spices and a tangy succulence plus sandpaper tannins."
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 savoury flavour, but light on its feet. Gentle drag of tannin, fine acidity, and a grainy and gently sappy finish of excellent length. You’re laughing here." (2015 Vintage)
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." (2015 Vintage)
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." (2015 Vintage)
Qantas Magazine "Dark cherry, blackberry and plumb combined with toasty French Oak and hints of rum and raison. Reveals layers of red berry fruites combining with fine, gentle tannins, and finishing cool." (2015 Vintage)
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." (2015 Vintage)
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 – Merlot wines are made from two of the world's most famous and most widely grown wine grapes. The pair form the foundation of many of the great wines of Bordeaux, where this classic blend (often dubbed "Bordeaux Blend") is thought to have originated. For centuries, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have been the quintessential Bordeaux wine grapes, but their fame and popularity have now taken them far beyond the banks of the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde, to the furthest reaches of the wine world.
In California the blend is often labeled as Meritage – providing the producer meets the requirements of the Meritage Alliance. The Australian regions of Coonawarra, Margaret River and Yarra Valley are highly regarded for their unique expressions of the blend. A Bordeaux Blend is any combination of those grape varieties typically used to make the red wines of Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon is widely accepted as a compulsory component of any Bordeaux Blend along with Merlot. In fact, the majority of Bordeaux Blend wines are often made exclusively from a blend of these two varieties. The remaining components are Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.