I have been going to Upper Reach since Laura and Derek Pearse first opened in the mid 1990s. In the early days the tasting was done in the corner of the winery shed. Over the years this has been developed to include a restaurant (Broads), a dedicated tasting area, and a wonderful lawn and picnic area where twilight concerts are held through the warmer months. They also have a cottage fitted out in luxurious style which can be booked for short stays.
We went out last week to have a look at some of the latest releases and were, as usual with this vineyard, impressed. The wines are all full flavoured, fresh and vibrant and made with a deft hand.
Sparkling Chardonnay 2011
From grapes grown on the Swan Valley vineyard and made using the traditional methode champenoise, this wine has a hint of green apple on the nose, with some yeast characteristics and a creamy palate, moving to a crisp and quite dry finish. A good apéritif wine. (88)
A very aromatic wine, this has generous tropical fruit on the nose; a soft rounded palate with hints of citrus and sufficient acid to sustain quite a long, impressive finish. (89).
This is another very aromatic wine with tropical fruit and citrus tones. It has lemon and nutty notes on the creamy palate, and with good acid contributing to a smooth mouth feel and satisfying finish. (90).
Reserve Chardonnay 2013
Less evident oak on the nose than previous vintages; it is complex and mouth filling. It has a creamy texture, good balance and a long sustained finish. This is an elegant wine showing the potential of chardonnay in the Swan Valley if handled well. (92)
Black Bream Red
Made from Swan Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot this has overt berry aromas, flowing through to black berry notes on the palate resulting in a medium bodied easy drinking style. (88)
The Gig Shiraz Grenache 2012
This is a blend of Swan Valley Shiraz from the Upper Reach property and some 50 year old Grenache from elsewhere in the Valley. It has a deep ruby colour, with blackberry and raspberry notes on the nose. It is a medium bodied wine, with hints of liquorice and black pepper on the palate. It is designed as an everyday drinking Shiraz and certainly succeeds. (91).
Petit Verdot 2011
This has the typically dense and rich colour of this variety, with a powerful nose and hints of plum and violets. On the palate the concentrated fruit is balanced with well integrated oak influences and smooth, long tannins. An excellent wine, should age well for a number of years – unfortunately it is now sold out. (94).
Made from grapes sourced in Chittering, with a lovely deep colour, it has pronounced berry and confectionary aromas, and lively mid palate fruit, balanced by good tannins, finishing with sour cherry and dusty spice notes. (91)
Cabernet Sauvignon Swan Valley 2012
This is a very good example of Swan Valley Cabernet; it has a rich ruby colour, with hints of cedar and mint on the nose; notes of plum and cassis on the palate; the oak is subtle and balances the fruit well; tannins are smooth and contribute to an impressive finish. It should age well in the medium term. (92).
Cabernet Sauvignon Frankland River 2012
This has heaps of blackcurrant and plum aromas, overlayed with some olive and minty notes. It has a juicy and rich palate, with fine, supple tannins and good use of oak to balance the fruit. This is a great example of a cooler climate Cabernet. (93).
For explanation of wine rating points see: http://perthcafeculture.com.au/about/