Margaret River, a wine region of Western Australia, has captured the buzz of the moment as a source of utterly distinctive Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons that can compete in quality with those from the top-recognized regions of the world. Also, It’s worth noting that there’s a red-hot market for wine in Asia, particularly China, and Margaret River wine producers have forged a strong commercial line to that country. Perhaps that’s why we don’t see a ton of Margaret River wine here in the U.S. yet—and that may change soon enough—but if you do, it’s something you may want to snap up on first sight.
The 2013 HANDPICKED Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon, for its non-intimidating price point, is a great gateway towards further exploration of the unique character of the region. This is a solid effort that has simple, easygoing pleasures while capturing some of the magic of Margaret River—temperateness of the coastal climate, superior quality of fruit and complexity of terroir that bring about Cabernets of refinement, richness in flavor, silky textures and vibrant aromas. That’s all here. On the nose of this Handpicked “Regional Selections” wine is the fresh acidity of blackberries, an intriguing note of bay leaf spice and soft aromas of violets. A distinctive earthiness hits the palate that reminds you of Bordeaux-produced wines of this varietal, as well as a note of Mediterranean olive to go along with the juiciness, brightness and fullness of dark and red cherries plus chocolaty smoothness that are the quintessential traits of Aussie Cabernet. This is definitely a new school Cab, and an exciting discovery as we all watch the Australian wine industry turn a new chapter in their ever-evolving story of wine. –J.M.