1979; 40 years ago. That was the first time I visited Western Australia, affectionately known as WA. I won’t mention how old I was, but what I can say is, I wasn’t old enough to drink alcohol. I can’t remember how long I was there but it was enough time to make me want to go back…and I did…many more times since. Considering my interest in wine now, it may come as a surprise to know that initially, it wasn’t wine that drew me back there (the wine bit came later). There’s more to WA than just wine isn’t there? The Pinnacles, Wave Rock, Monkey Mia, Kalgoorlie, the Pink Lake, Broome and Rottnest Island, just to name a few of the attractions.
From what I remember, there was a time when wine seemed to be produced from only two places. Margaret River and the Swan Valley. Not any more. This wine is from an area 35 kilometres north of Albany called Porongarup. Bearing in mind Castle Rock was established in 1983, this place has been a very well kept secret…from we Tasmanians anyway. Hopefully, not anymore.
A little subdued on the nose, the aromas didn’t jump out of the glass. They seemed to meander out, sort of woke up and thought, “better do something I suppose” and then lingered with stonefruits, citrus characters and a creamy vanilla note (thanks to 25% new oak maybe?).
I loved tasting it. This was the most impressive part for me. Delicate but very good fruit; hello peaches, nectarines and (to a lesser extent) pears. Lots of flavour and texture giving the impression of being rich, but it’s not. It’s more elegant in style and presentation on the tongue. Grapefruit acidity seems very gentle and fine on the palate but certainly adds to the character of its make up. Beautifully balanced, this has an appreciatively long finish too as it seems to rise to a dizzy height and move at that same plateau for a considerable time. The satisfaction factor is high for this wine. No question.
Region: Porongurup, WA Price: $30 Source: Sample courtesy of Castle Rock Estate and Define Wine