Brown Hill, a little south of Margaret River at Rosa Brook (around where my grandfather used to farm many years ago) has all dry grown vines on gravelly soils which while making for small yields also produce wines of great character and style.
On a recent trip to Margaret River we, as always, dropped by the shed cum cellar door to have a look over some of the releases on offer and again as always came away impressed by the quality and value, and quite a bit poorer (at least in money terms).
During our visit we were welcomed and watched over by Suzie, the vineyard dog, who kept a close eye on proceedings.
All wines have names associated with Kalgoorlie mines, where the Bailey family hailed from before setting up the vineyard.
2014 Charlotte Sauvignon Blanc
Tropical fruit aromas abound, on the palate hints of gooseberry and passionfruit, with fine acidity producing a long and satisfying finish. Good current drinking. (91)
2014 Lakeview Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
Pale hued, grassy notes overlaying tropical fruit on the nose, while the palate shows hints of citrus and peaches. Light and fresh, a great summer drink. (90)
2014 Golden Horseshoe Chardonnay
Musky peach aromas, backed with hints of vanilla, this has a beautifully balanced palate – citrus and peach flavours, excellent acid, and very long and silky finish. Should age well over the medium term. (93)
2014 Morning Star Rosé
Made from Shiraz grapes, this wine is bright pink and attractively hued. Strawberry and cherry aromas move onto spicy, raspberry flavours, with a smooth, dry and crisp finish. (91)
2013 Chaffers Shiraz
Lifted aromas of berries and chocolate, and a smooth palate full of dark plum, blackcurrant and peppery notes, silky tannins and well integrated oak. Outstanding value wine. (92)
2013 Hannans Cabernet Sauvignon
A very good, and brilliantly priced, example of Margaret River Cabernet. Tobacco, blackcurrant and minty aromas; a firm palate with smooth tannins, fine oak influence and full of plum and blackcurrant flavours. (93)
2013 Trafalgar Cabernet Merlot
An elegant cabernet sauvignon merlot blend, with black and red currant aromas, finely balanced and seamless with well integrated dusty oak, and ripe tannins. (92)
2012 Ivanhoe Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
In the next price range up from the Hannans, this is another top class example of Margaret River Cabernet – deep crimson, lifted aromas of blackcurrant, hints of violets, mint and cedar, well balanced, silky palate, dark plum flavours. Will age well over the medium term. (94)
2011 Croesus Reserve Merlot
Blackberry, plums and violets on the nose, with rich fruit flavours of mulberries and plums, and spicy notes on the mid palate, smooth, rich mouthfeel, subtle oak. Lovely wine. (94)
2014 Oroya Reserve Malbec
A new release, this is another great addition to the Reserve range. Deep, dark red in colour with lifted aromas of plums, liquorice, and spice, with hints of violets and tobacco. The palate is chock full of flavour – cherries, mulberries and plums – supported by silky tannins, to a long finish. This is another that promises to age beautifully. (95)
2010 Perseverance Cabernet Merlot
One of the top price point Signature range, this has a lifted nose of red berries, mint, black currant and olive leaf; chocolate and ripe plum flavours supported by fine tannins, and a little mid palate spice, well balanced oak and a beautiful long finish. (95)