Way back in 1616 Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog literally stumbled across the west coast of Australia thanks to some blustery winds in the Indian Ocean. Along with other Dutch explorers after him, he had a bit of a look up and down the coast, but was not interested in claiming it in the name of a Sovereign leader from his home country or permanently calling the place home. It took over 200 years for the Government of New South Wales to send a group of boats loaded with people to establish a settlement at King George Sound, just a mere 60 kilometres from Porongurup. Rather than making the effort to walk to Porongurup, Major Edmond Lockyer, the leader of this band of curious east coasters, simply claimed the area for the British Crown and moved on. I wonder if his descendants are cursing him for not getting his boots dirty, wearing some of the leather away and scoping out Porongurup a bit more. Who knows, there could’ve been grape vines planted long before it was eventually established in the 1970s.
Castle Rock were sort of one of the early pioneers, establishing itself in 1983 and takes its name from a popular climbing destination of the same name which is part of the Porongurup range of mountains. I have to say, I’ve been lucky to try a few of their wines and they have been an impressive lot. These two are no exception. Here’s what I think.
2019 Porongurup Riesling
Beautifully floral and citrusy on the nose, limes for me here and fresh as fresh thing for sure. The palate has delicate yet intense flavours of the ‘Riesling regulars’ such as lemons (but more so) limes with lovely acidity riding alongside. It’s sort of minerally but not overly so which, for me is a good thing because I like to see the juicy fruit and acid shine with Rieslings which they do in this wine. To top it all off, it has a terrific, moreishly dry, lively, inviting and long finish. A gorgeous Riesling. This will be a sell out!
2018 Porongurup Pinot Noir
This starts off so well. Fresh on the nose, it is definitely varietal and lush with mouth-watering dark cherries and strawberries aplenty. In a nutshell, the palate is excellent!! (it probably deserves more than two exclamation marks). Those dark cherries are evident when tasting it (or should I say, “drinking it”) but more spicy-like, lovely fresh strawberries aplenty again. The fruit concentration is terrific without impacting on the pinosity (is that a word?) of the wine if you know what I mean. Now, I have to mention the oak which is a bit of a constant yet in a complementary way rather than being intrusive. The finish is long with lovely smooth tannins and that fruit just hangs with them beautifully to the end. This may sound odd but for a young wine this is quite nicely balanced already. The fruit, tannins and acid have melded together very nicely but still maintain their individual impact on the overall deliciousness of this wine. Loved it!!
Region: Porongurup, W.A. Source: Samples courtesy of Castle Rock Estate and Define Wine