Forest Hill Vineyard (Western Australia)
The vineyards of Western Australia only account for 3% of the nation's vinous output by volume but incorporate an impressive 20% of its fine wine production. Classified as a 'Five Star' winery by noted authority James Halliday, the Forest Hill Vineyard in Mount Barker, south-east of Perth, is comprised of 95 hectares of vines planted with classic grape varieties that are unirrigated, hand-harvested and bottled individually under screwcap. A maritime climate with good rainfall and cool nights helps impart freshness and finesse which are captured by deft vinification by wine-maker Guy Lyons. The emphasis here is on purity of fruit and varietal character yielding wines of great charm which drink well from release.
The Estate Chardonnay has a limpid straw colour, a bouquet of ripe orchard fruit and a smoothly-textured core of ripe apples offset by a fresh acidity. The Cabernet Sauvignon has inviting blackcurrant and mint aromas and concentrated palate of stewed red and black fruit with peppery undertones and fine-grained tannins. Completing a commendable range is a supple Shiraz with a bouquet of dark cherries and berries and a palate of briary black fruit with hints of clove and pepper and enough tannic structure to support 3-5 years bottle age.