Internationally renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson visited Margaret River and Fraser Gallop Estate as part of the 2017 Gourmet Escape.
She attended the Cullen Wine International Chardonnay Tasting, an event started by Dr Kevin Cullen in the mid 1980s to 'benchmark Margaret River Chardonnay against the world's finest examples and improve the breed'.
Jancis tasted the Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Chardonnay 2013 in a blind tasting that included eight wines from Margaret River, seven from the rest of Australia (mainly Victoria), one from California, one from Oregon and five from Burgundy.
Jancis states "virtually all my favourite Chardonnays came from Margaret River – scoring them more highly than several grands crus or their equivalents from Burgundy, including wines from such illustrious producers as Leroy and Leflaive. And if we were to take price into account, this tasting is a walkover for Margaret River."
We are delighted to have one of the highest rated Chardonnays in the tasting. While the 2013 vintage is no longer available to purchase, you may see it on the menu at future wine dinners and Gourmet Escape events.
Fraser Gallop, Parterre Chardonnay 2013 Margaret River
Wilyabrup. 100% GinGin clone. Yields down 30% due to a storm in the last week of November. Whole-bunch pressed before a 24-hour cold settle and gravity flow into barriques for wild-yeast fermentation. 10 months in oak, of which a third was new, with weekly lees stirring in the first month.
Tasted blind. Distinctly floral nose. Great balance and crunchy green fruit. Really zesty and energetic despite the relatively high serving temperature. Chalky finish. Very long. Excellent drive. Margaret River? Drink 2016-2026
Read the full article 'Triumph for Margaret River Chardonnay' by Jancis Robinson.
In a separate tasting at Vasse Felix designed to celebrate the region's half-century, Jancis sampled the Parterre Chardonnay 2016 and had this to say;
Fraser Gallop, Parterre Chardonnay 2016 Margaret River
Gin Gin clone. Metricup Road vineyard, Wilyabrup. Winter rainfall arrived early in the season, which then eased off in the later half and into spring. This provided the region with a warmer than average spring; predictions for another early vintage were being made. Rain returned in December, and the weather returned to normal through to the second week of January. Harvested February 2016, 10 months in new and older French oak barriques.
Pale straw. Quite heady nose – almost as though there were a drop of Viognier in there. Very neat and pleasing with a vegetal note. More evolved and come-hither than some although there is excellent acidity underneath. Not quite the follow through one seeks though it may well develop it. 13.5% Drink 2017-2023
The Fraser Gallop Parterre Chardonnay 2016 is available to purchase online and at cellar door.