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Semillon-Sauvignon 2009

Mr Whirly says:

“ With the addition of 45% Sauvignon, more than normal in this famous WA blend, the wine is given an added boost and freshness that make it far more approachable and adaptable to different styles of food.  Fresh cut grass with hints of green Capsicum.”

This is my first Western Australian blended white wine and I have chosen the classic white wine blend that has made this region famous.

Winemaker’s tasting notes:

“ Margaret river has rightly become known as the prominent region for this blend. The two varieties combined offer a layered, fresh and balanced wine that is a pleasure to partake in. Harvested on the 10th March 2009. Old, dry grown vines produce lovely aroma’s of passion fruit, a hint of citrus and some underlying savoury nuances of green beans and fresh mown hay.”

Alc vol: 13.5%

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Willespie Merlot 2006

Mr whirly says:

“ This is possibly one of the best Merlots I have ever tasted! And yes, Mr Whirly, that is quite a statement, but you know what, I believe it ! Quite beautiful fruit, wonderful mouthfeel, very Autumnal, blackberries and wild hedgerow berries. I tasted this in early November 2011 down at “The Gurnards Head” in Cornwall, a great place to get away by the way, with owner Charles Inkin, and I think I can say safely it blew him into the Atlantic ocean a few yards away. He then tasted it with some discerning Aussies who were having lunch and they rated it the best of that varietal from their homeland!”

Winemaker’s tasting notes:

“  A great Margaret river Merlot! Full of rich berries, spice and Chocolate. So much more than many expect from this variety. Lovely integrated oak, adds to the considerable length and depth of flavour. Harvested 27th April 2006 ( that’s pretty late by the way). Harvested from old, dry grown vines. A Merlot with considerable body and the benefit of ageing to soften off tannins and gain additional complexity.  Basket pressing has contributed to a round, soft mouth feel.

Alc vol: 15.5%

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Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Mr Whirly says:

“The 1998 has sadly sold out and I was depressed for a week! Then I eventually grew the courage to taste the new 1999 vintage and I was over the moon.  The next vintage, ( sadly 2000 was not a good year, pity since this is the year I first visited this lovely wine country) 2001, I think follows the 1998 a little more. That was an epic vintage, never to be re-produced possibly. This vintage, more mineral full than the 1999, with hints of sloes, plums and spearmint. This wine is unfiltered so would benefit from being decanted. Enjoy with butter-flied leg of lamb marinated with garlic, rosemary and salt and loads of good virgin olive and slam it on the Barbeque or  in the oven! “

Its February 2014 and I have just tasted a bottle of this wine and it rocks! Absolutely fantastic and such wonderful value. Try getting a top of the range left bank wine for under £20?

Alcohol: 13.5%

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Riesling 2005

Riesling 2005

Mr Whirly says:

“This is a big, citrus and lime Riesling, very different from a Clare valley Riesling (just north of the Barossa and a thoroughly beautiful place) and to be honest it’s a pretty serious wine. It’s unusual to have a Riesling from Margaret River and as usual the Willespie Family have come up trumps!”

Alcohol: 13.5%

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Semillon 2001

Mr Whirly says:

“A fine example of cool climate Semillon from Australia, so different from its better known relatives in the Hunter Valley. This wine is stored in French Oak for a short time and needs a little air before pouring. Like the Verdelho it is a very “mineral forward” wine, with a gooseberry pie nose and palate and an amazing smoky bitter finish with hints of Green Capsicum, leaf mould, forest floor and mushrooms. I tasted a bottle of this in April 2013 and its still holding up really well for a ten year old white wine from Oz! Wonderful. ”

Alcohol: 12.5%

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Verdelho 2000 & 2009

I have new stock of the 2009 in from Australia and its now ready for drinking being that the wine is now 4 years old. I shall follow up with more detailed tasting notes in the near future

Verdelho 2000

Mr whirly says:


“The flagship white wine of Willespie. The grape is orginally found in Madeira, an island I have yet to see and its very much on my list “ to do “. Complex with added plus of bottle age, which is rather unique for Verdelho, since normally drunk young. Salty and nutty on the finish with a hint of Charentais melon. Very positive bottle ageing.”

Alcohol : 12.5%

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Willespie Vineyard, Margaret River

The Road to Margaret river and beyond………into the wilderness of the Great Southern wine region.

I walked to Willespie vineyard on a quiet afternoon in late summer, well April it was, so Autumn, 2000. Actually that’s not true, I remember a lovely old lady picked me up and drove me the last two miles to the end of the drive leading to the vineyard. This was the start of something special. I remember tasting their 1996 Cabernet and loving it. So much so that I transported a bottle all the way back to the UK through April, May and June 2000, via Ayers rock, Cape Tribulation and New Zealand. In October 2000 I tasted this wine and thought yes, these guys are special.

The winemaker’s and owner’s are Marian and Kevin Squance. It is family owned and the grapes are Estate grown. This vineyard is tucked in between Cullens and Mosswood, two very high profile wineries. Vasse felix also finishes off the quartet of wineries and this was the first vineyard to plant grapes here in Margaret River in 1979. Willespie followed a few years later. The terroir is perfect for producing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon wines in Australia.

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Western Australia

I first travelled to Perth and Western Australians wine country at the end of my five month tour in May 2000. I had sold my trusty Ford Falcon with the bench “ bed” front seat back in Sydney since my trust in it did not go as far as crossing the Nullarbor. I was now on foot, or thumb as the case may be, hitching south from Perth to Margaret river and then south-east to relatively new Great Southern wine regions. Its great wine country down here, really great! Of all the wine country in Australia this, I was to discover, is the most captivating. They produce only 2% of total production of Australia in this vast region, but what you taste in Margaret River, Manjimup, Pemberton, The Porongurups, Denmark and Albany are top notch. The vines are dotted around amidst a stretched landscape of massive gum trees, Kari and Mari trees, intermingled with lots of Eucalyptus, and these tree’s play an important part in the make up of the wines here; they shade the vines, keeping them cooler and they add a little extra special flavours to the finished product, especially in the red wines where the terroir of gum and eucalyptus really shows through. However its not all big tree country down here: in the Porongurups the country reverts to hills and massive granite boulders and around Mount Barker, just to the west, there are rolling hills of real beauty. I recommend anyone to hire a car or motorhome and spend some time down here. It really is the most individual and uninhabited wine country to be found in this land.

Willespie Vineyards, Margaret River