It was the only Western Australian wine to be recognised in the awards this year, and one of only six from Australia.
In London this morning, Decanter announced: “In a great year for Chardonnay in our competition, this Western Australian example stood out for its sheer assurance and class, as well as for the intelligence of its approach: perfectly judged ripeness and skilful vinification are both amply in evidence here. We've always known that Margaret River can make great Chardonnay: here's yet more proof in a balanced, contemporary style which sings.”
Decanter is the wine world’s most respected monthly publication.
It is Fraser Gallop Estate’s second major recognition from Decanter; in 2009 the Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 was awarded the International Trophy for Best Bordeaux Blend under a slightly different awards structure.
"To our knowledge this is the first time an Australian producer has won the award for both their red and their white wines", says vigneron Nigel Gallop, "This is an incredible honour and a testament to the great team here at the Estate".
Now in its 17th year, the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is the world's largest and most influential wine competition. Chaired by the experts from around the globe, the DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process.
Throughout August 116 judges including 37 masters of wine and nine master sommeliers tasted and analysed the merits of 16,518 wines produced by some of the world’s top wineries in 56 countries.
Six vineyards from Australia were awarded Best in Show. Only a total of 50 (a mere 0.3% of all wines entered) were awarded the highly sought-after accolade of “Best in Show”, whittled down from the winners of the 178 platinum, 537 gold, 5,234 silver and 7,508 bronze medals. Australia was awarded a total of 779 medals, with six Best in Show, 17 Platinum, 58 Gold and 332 Silver and 366 Bronze.
Best in Show is judged by the Award’s three Co-Chairs: Michael Hill Smith MW, Sarah Jane Evans MW and Andrew Jefford.
“This has been a challenging year for the industry and for our Estate. To receive this following our 18th vintage in the Estate's 21st year of operation is quite a birthday present!" says Gallop.
“Over the years we have had great recognition from Australian wine critics both within the media and wine show fraternity, which is something we truly value, and to receive acknowledgment again from independent arbiters abroad in the Northern Hemisphere is incredibly gratifying.”
Established in 1999, Fraser Gallop Estate comprises 50 acres (20 ha) under vine of which approximately 18.5 acres (7.5 ha) are planted with chardonnay vines.
The vineyard features undulating topography and gravelly laterite loams over clay subsoil providing the ideal conditions in which to grow Bordeaux and Burgundy grape varieties. The unique location, geography and climate conditions combine to imbue the colour, flavours and aromas found only in Fraser Gallop Estate wines.
Grapes are sourced solely from the Estate’s single vineyard. Through minimal intervention, naturally occurring environmental yeasts and a hands-off winemaking approach, the wines are made by the same winemaker each year on the Estate and aged in French oak coopered specifically for our winemaking team of Clive Otto and Ellin Tritt.
“The beauty of Chardonnay is its ability to vary drastically on the palate depending on where it is produced; the grapes adapt so well to their surrounding environment that the resulting wines truly encapsulate each sub-region", says Otto, Fraser Gallop Estate's chief winemaker.
“We challenged ourselves to create a chardonnay that is the quintessential representation of our region, capturing and expressing the best of the Estate, the nuances of the vineyard and Wilyabrup as a whole. We believe we have achieved this with our 2018 Parterre Chardonnay.”
To find out more about the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 click here
Fraser Gallop Estate has been recognised by one of the most powerful and respected wine commentary teams in the world.
The US-based jamessuckling.com. has declared Margaret River’s 2018 vintage as “without question one of the best and most classically styled vintages ever recorded in Margaret River and across greater Western Australia” and lauded the wines of Fraser Gallop Estate as both “complex” and “sophisticated” scoring them particularly highly.
With scores in the mid-90s awarded to all of the Estate’s soon-to-be-released wines, James Suckling’s international executive editor Nick Stock reserved his highest praise for the Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (available in November 2020). With a score of 96 points Stock said: “Techniques are tuned to deliver pristine cabernet character here. This has a very fresh array of leaves, flowers, tobacco and blackcurrants, as well as blueberries and very well-integrated, cedary oak. The palate has a beautifully deep, ripe and concentrated delivery of plush, long and fine tannin. Impressive now, but best from 2024.”
Since launching in 2010 jamessuckling.com has assumed the mantle of one of wines most important observers and arbiters. However, Stock was generous in his praise of all the estate’s wines.
Scoring 95 points to both the Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 and the Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Stock said of the 2018 Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon “This is a stylish expression of complex cabernet with a fusion of herb and leafy notes with ripe berries, as well as plums, chocolate, cigar tobacco and blueberries. The palate is concentrated, yet nimble. Ripe mixed- berry flavours are freshly expressed, amid spiced chocolate oak and supple, long, fully formed tannins. Holds so long. A blend of 86% cabernet sauvignon, 6% petit verdot, 4% malbec, 3% merlot and 1% cabernet franc. Drink or hold.”
Of the Palladian Chardonnay 2019 he said “This top-tier chardonnay has very attractive restraint, married with underlying complexity. Lemon and wet-stone aromas, as well as white-peach and almond notes, leading to a palate that has a very elegant yet powerful core of lemons, grapefruit and white peaches. Toasted-hazelnut finish. It’s all here. Drink or hold.” According to James suckling.com “Wines rated 95 points or more (A+), are a must buy and a bottle that I want to drink in its entirety!”
This is not the first time jamessuckling.com has been impressed by Fraser Gallop Estate’s chardonnay and cabernet wines. In 2019 the publication recognised the excellence of the Palladian range of wines awarding the Palladian Chardonnay 2017 96 points; Palladian Chardonnay 2018 94 points; Palladian Cabernet 95 points; and Palladian Cabernet 2016 94 points respectively. These wines are current releases and available to purchase.
All the Fraser Gallop Estate wines received 92 points or more. According to Suckling “A wine that I rate 90 points or more is outstanding (A). It’s a wine I want to drink... and is an outstanding purchase”. Wines to come under the jamessuckling.com scrutiny which went online last night included the Parterre Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (94 points) describing it as “right at the top of the region’s offering”; the Parterre Chardonnay 2019 (93 points) “very taut, punchy...the length and focus are impressive”; the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (92 points) “very pure, vibrant and appealingly drinkable”; and the Estate Malbec 2018 (92 points) “vibrant.. plush, with a succulent core”.
Established in 1999, Fraser Gallop Estate comprises 50 acres under vine on an elevated aspect six kilometres from the south west coast at the heart of the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River. The topography, soil and maritime characteristics of the Wilyabrup region leave an indelible mark on the wines produced here. The grapes, sourced solely from this single vineyard are predominantly wild- fermented and made gently with a hands-off, minimal intervention approach to create intensely flavoured, textured and complex wines providing a true expression of the here-and-now, evolving with the vagaries of nature.
An unwavering focus on quality has seen the Estate’s wines receive international critical recognition including winning acclaim such as the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for Best Bordeaux blend and Best New World Chardonnay at the Sommelier Wine Awards in the UK.
“Naturally we are delighted with this appraisal” said the estate’s owner Nigel Gallop. “jamessuckling.com is a particularly prestigious commentator and to see our region, the vintage and the Estate recognised with such generous praise is extremely heartwarming at times that are very trying for the industry.”
“This is Fraser Gallop Estate’s 21st year of operation and we have just completed our 18th vintage. If Nick Stock and Jamessuckling.com are so impressed by these soon-to-be-released vintages I can’t wait to see how they respond to the 2020 vintage when it is released. The quality of the harvest has been outstanding.”
The sold-out Palladian Chardonnay 2017 was ranked among Australia's very best Chardonnay in The Wine Front's Chardonnay in 2019 - The Year in Review article (paywall).
Each year they gather the highest rating Chardonnays and a panel of wine lovers assess them once again. Our Palladian ranked in the top eight of the 34 finest Australian Chardonnays tasted.
Initially rated 95+ by Gary Walsh, the panel awarded our 2017 Palladian Chardonnay 96+ points. This placed it amongst the ranks of Margaret River's and Australia's most iconic and esteemed Chardonnays, and it was our very first vintage.
Those of you with Palladian Chardonnay 2017 in the cellar - we hope you thoroughly enjoy it. And if you're yet to buy the Palladian Chardonnay 2018, perhaps Gary Walsh can convince you (paywall); "Intensity. Focus. Length....Perhaps slightly more generous than the 2017, and none the worse for that. 96 points"
Palladian is the purest expression of place, and the result of our absolute focus on quality. Over twenty years we've learnt exactly which vineyard rows produce the finest grapes, and these are handpicked for the Palladian wines.
For five years Clive Otto made just three barrels of Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon, and in 2017 he began crafting the first ever Palladian Chardonnay. Both the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are wild (natural) yeast fermented in small batches.
Fantastic reviews for the 2018 Palladian Chardonnay and 2016 Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon are rolling in. Both debuted at the recent Gourmet Escape with a fantastic response from critics, chefs and our loyal clientele.
Palladian Chardonnay 2018
"A textbook chardonnay of great class" 96 points, Huon Hooke
Released in November 2019 and following the highly acclaimed inaugural vintage, the 2018 Palladian Chardonnay comes from select rows of our very best low yielding Gin Gin vines. The juice is run cloudy into a mixture of puncheons and barriques, and only 1000 litres is made.
Gary Walsh of Winefront praised its intensity;
"Intensity. Focus. Length. I could likely stop the review there, though I’ll add a green apple sorbet, juicy lemon and lime, a cashew richness and gloss to mitigate, flinty/chalky texture, a certain citrus zest, grapefruit and green melon through the finish, plus a dash of cinnamon spice and toast. Perhaps slightly more generous than the 2017, and none the worse for that." 96 points - Gary Walsh
Gourmet Traveller WINE awarded it 96 points;
"The restrained bouquet recalls almonds and cashews, and there is sweet juicy lemon flavour in abundance. The structure is tight, intense and focused, with impressive length and refinement. It’s lovely now and would take some age well."
"Very light-yellow hue. Restrained and faintly nutty aromas recalling almond and cashew. There is juicy sweet lemon flavor in spadesful, tight and intense and focused, with impressive length and at the same time terrific refinement. An excellent wine. A textbook chardonnay of great class." - Huon Hooke, 96 points
"Another delightful Margaret River chardonnay. This one reveals freshly squeezed lemons, acacia, chamomile and Granny Smith apples with the faintest touch of spices. The acidity is very, very intense, so beware, but if you can hold on for the ride, it’s a real roller-coaster, as tons of citrus and herbs seep through." - James Suckling, 94 points
Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
"A very attractive wine with a future" - Huon Hooke
The Cabernet is fermented in new 500 litre vinification puncheons as whole berries. The 2015 vintage won Gold and was rated 97 points by James Halliday. We eagerly await Halliday's review of the 2016 after the praise he gave it at the Gourmet Escape Long Lunch event. In the meantime, excellent reviews are coming in from leading wine writers in Australia and internationally.
"Dried red berries, plums, herbs and blackcurrants. Quite hearty but complex on the full-bodied palate, where vibrant layers of soft red fruit intermingle with spicy acidity. Very fruity on the finish, but this also shows concentration and serious depth. Drink in 2021." - James Suckling, 94 points
"Fraser Gallop's flagship 2016 Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent wine and, unfortunately for consumers, priced accordingly. Layers of classy French oak are seamlessly integrated with smooth berry fruit in this medium to full-bodied offering from the Wilyabrup subregion. The tannins are smooth and silky, harnessing the ripeness of the fruit into a streamlined shape on the palate and lingering on the long, mouthwatering finish. It should drink well for at least a decade." - Joe Czerwinski, 93 points
"Deepish red colour with purple tints and a strongly oaky bouquet. Dark chocolate and mocha. It's full-bodied and rich with density, flesh and grip. Violets and blue fruits as well. There is soft but pervasive tannin balanced by concentrated sweet fruit and fleshy texture. A very attractive wine with a future. Oak is a tad dominant at this time, but is not out of balance." Huon Hooke, 93 points
The World of Fine Wine
Finally, Ken Gargett raved about our Palladian wines after visiting the winery for a barrel tasting. The following excerpt comes from his article How The West was won (and keeps winning) in The World of Fine Wine magazine.
"When it comes to Fraser Gallop, one of the matters that always arises for discussion is value. Not that it makes Nigel Gallop happy—he’d rather just focus on quality. It is not easy to escape, though, when you have a series of cracking wines drinking well above their prices. In deference to Nigel, we will not mention value again.
"Winemaker Clive Otto has been there since 2006, after a long stint with Vasse Felix, beginning in 1989. The range encompasses Estate wines, Parterre, and finally a series called Palladian, which will sit at the top (and finally be priced somewhere near what the wines deserve). I was blown away by the quality of the 2017 Palladian Chardonnay, but the 2015 Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon (A$110) might be even better (and a barrel tasting of the 2018 suggests it will be among the greatest wines this region has ever made). It was cold-soaked for ten days at 46°F (8°C), fermented with 100 percent indigenous yeast, and spent 40 days on skins. Aromas and flavors roam through spices, tobacco leaves, coffee grinds, truffley notes, cherries, blueberries, and dried herbs; beautifully balanced, supple and seamless, with at least 20 years of joy ahead of it. Bended-knee stuff (98)."
We're humbled with the excellent results of the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards. Four of our wines were included in The Best of the Best: 2020 Varietal Winners lists. These lists contain the crème de la crème of Australian wine, and reinforce our dedication to creating outstanding wines.
Making the 2020 Top Rated Chardonnay list; our inaugural 2017 Palladian Chardonnay.
"Estate-grown, matured for 9 months in Burgundian special toast puncheons. The bouquet has some smoky nuances, but wow, it gives no warning of the incredibly pure, intense and long palate, grapefruit and white peach locked in an eternal embrace."
98 points - James Halliday
Sold Out - Join our Wine Club to get pre-release access to the 2018 Palladian Chardonnay. This vintage will also be in limited supply.
On the 2020 Top Rated Cabernet Sauvignon list, is the 2015 Palladian Cabernet.
"This has an extraordinarily long finish and aftertaste, built on varietal purity. It's ethereal, a word I cannot remember often using for a cabernet. The texture, too, is exceptional, the oak absorbed into the essence of the wine."
97 points - James Halliday
$110 RRP. 10% off mixed dozens. 20% off for Wine Club members
Making the 2020 Top Semillon Sauvignon Blends list, both the sold out 2017 and 2018 Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
On the 2017 vintage, Halliday says;
"The style and quality of this wine has been respected (and protected) for upwards of two decades. Partial barrel ferment is subtle, but important in providing an extra degree of complexity and texture, but leaving the coast clear for the semillon to fly its lemon allsorts flag, the sauvignon blanc to float over the top with its tropical/green pea duo."
96 points - James Halliday.
Limited stock of the 2017 Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is available to wine club members.
The 2018 Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc -
"Both varieties were partially barrel-fermented, increasing the texture and complexity, but leaving the varietal character of each razor-sharp prior to blending. A zesty, lively, tangy wine is the result, with grapefruit, green apple and hints of passionfruit and guava on the aftertaste."
96 points - James Halliday
$24 RRP. 10% off mixed dozens. 20% off for Wine Club members.
James Halliday awarded 96 points to the 2018 Parterre Chardonnay and included it in the "wow-factor whites" in the latest Halliday magazine published today.
It follows an immensely successful, multi-award winning 2017 Parterre Chardonnay, and winemaker Clive Otto is confident this new vintage will be just as well received by critics and wine appreciators alike.
Huon Hooke awarded it 95 points, calling it "a ripping chardonnay and great value at the price."
Limited stocks of the 2017 Parterre Chardonnay are still available and the 2018 Parterre Chardonnay is available on pre-release, with the official release due in a matter of weeks.
A fresh fruit-driven bouquet introduces a palate that flows without interruption to the finish and aftertaste.
- James Halliday, Wine Companion magazine
Very light yellow hue with a shy, restrained, faintly nutty aroma, which seems a little muffled or unready. The palate is intense and fine, restrained and a tad unready. It’s still emerging but has intensity and very attractive flavour. Long, lingering finish with frisky acidity and real tension.
- Huon Hooke, The Real Review
During winter months, the 2018 Parterre Chardonnay would be best paired with roast chicken dishes or freshly caught abalone from Margaret River. Also with the Manjimup truffle season at the moment, pairing this wine with homemade truffle pasta is another good way to match.
What an honour it is to have our Parterre Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2018 named Wine of the Week by brilliant wine critic Huon Hooke.
He wrote "It’s excellent now and promises more for the future," and noted the fresh bouquet and lightly toasty barrel-fermented nuances - this wine is inspired by the “Graves” style of wine from Pessac-Leognan in Bordeaux. It's a style that offer far more complexity and interest and make better food wines than the usual stainless steel tank fermented SSB blends.
Read the full review at The Real Review;
This is a cracking wine, which will be even better in a year or so. The bouquet currently shows fresh snow-pea fruit and nutty, lightly toasty barrel-fermented nuances. It tastes youthful and tight, clean and crisp with a dry finish. Good concentration. It’s excellent now and promises more for the future.
This wine is available to purchase.
"Could he produce a wine better than (and distinct from) Parterre?" asked renowned critic James Halliday in The Australian. We'd love you to be the judge, and both the 98 point Palladian Chardonnay and 97 point "ethereal" Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon are available to purchase and taste in our cellar door every weekend while stocks last.
Read below Halliday's full article from The Australian, published 2 February 2019:
From time to time, Clive Otto must pinch himself in wonder at how he came to be chief winemaker of Fraser Gallop Estate. He presides over a 300 tonne capacity winery built in 2008 specifically to handle the production of chardonnay, cabernet and semillon sauvignon blanc blends. There is no intention to increase the throughput of the estate’s vineyards, or to undertake contract winemaking. And one look at the immaculately groomed vines in summer will tell you this is a special place, the vines surrounded by acres of mowed grass.
Otto is the first to admit he loves tinkering around the edges of making the wines of the estate. He hit the ground running when he made the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (his first vintage), which in 2009 won the Decanter World Wine Awards for Best Cabernet Sauvignon in the World.
And then there are founding owners Nigel and Dorothy Gallop. Nigel, whose investments outside wine allow him to fund whatever his pride and joy needs, began tinkering with the Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon. Could he produce a wine better than (and distinct from) Parterre? The first decision was to carry out all the fermentation in new, custom built 500l French oak puncheons.
But how? The answer was a very large aperture that would allow conventional plunging. Bunches were destemmed, and at the end of 40 days on skins each puncheon was rolled with the aperture open, the marc taken direct to the press, the free run juice returned to the barrels for 22 months’ maturation. And so Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon was born, its first vintage 2013.
Palladian Chardonnay’s first vintage was in 2017. Vinification was similar to that of other top end versions, the answer in the vineyard where multiple passes through the growing season reduced the yield to 6.3 tonnes per hectare and the alcohol to 13 per cent.
Whole-bunch pressed straight to new 500l puncheons in a cool room at 12°C for a long, slow, wild yeast ferment. It has an incredibly pure, intense and long palate, grapefruit and white peach locked in an eternal embrace. 13 per cent alc, screwcap 98 points, drink to 2030, $110
This has an extraordinarily long finish and aftertaste, built on varietal purity. It’s ethereal, a word I cannot remember using for a cabernet. The texture, too, is exceptional, the oak absorbed into the wine’s essence. 14.5% alc, screwcap 97 points, drink to 2045, $110
The grapes were frozen for five days then whole-bunch pressed, the skins and ice discarded, the juice coldsettled
for another five days, then transferred to barrel for a slow fermentation with 155.6g/l residual sugar retained before fermentation was stopped. 375ml. 12.5 per cent alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2021, $34
Palladian is the purest expression of place, and the result of our absolute focus on quality. Over twenty years we've learnt exactly which vineyard rows produce the finest grapes, and these are handpicked for the Palladian wines.
For five years Clive Otto made just three barrels of Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon, and in 2017 he began crafting the first ever Palladian Chardonnay. Both the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are wild (natural) yeast fermented.
Critical acclaim for the inaugural Palladian Chardonnay is rolling in, as is praise for the latest Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon. Both debuted at the recent Gourmet Escape with a fantastic response from critics, chefs and our loyal clientele.
Palladian Chardonnay 2017
"A fine modern Chardonnay" Huon Hooke
Released in November 2018, the Palladian Chardonnay comes from select rows of our very best low yielding Gin Gin vines. The juice is run cloudy into a mixture of puncheons and barriques, and only 1000 litres is made.
Huon Hooke called it the #1 2017 Chardonnay from Margaret River;
"Fraser Gallop wines are among the best value in the region, and this one is typical. The youthfully subtle bouquet has elements of cashew, almond, honey and butter while the palate is lively with mouth-watering acidity and is tense, refreshing and invigorating. A fine modern chardonnay."
Gary Walsh of Winefront awarded it 95+ points;
"Spicy biscuit oak, zesty lime and grapefruit, kaffir lime leaf, touch of nougat, whisper of struck match. Medium-bodied, intense fruit backed with tasteful spicy oak, gently chalky texture, a bit of sunshine pineapple and vanilla on a long crisp finish. Savoury elements in play, but not thick with winemaker influence, more into purity here. A spicy little unit. Shy as a youngster, and more open coming back to it having been open for a day."
"Big and rich and gorgeous with masses of acidity. Exotically floral." 18/20 - Jancis Robinson, tasted unfinished in November 2017.
Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
A 96 point "Beauty"
The Cabernet is fermented in new 500 litre vinification puncheons as whole berries. Both Huon Hooke and Gary Walsh scored it 96 points.
"Deep red/purple colour, with a superbly intense bouquet of violets and blackcurrants. Oak has been sensitively handled. The tannins are fine-grained and soft, the concentration outstanding without sacrificing the elegance and finesse of the wine." - Huon Hooke
"Beautiful smelling wine. All the violets, sweet dark fruit, tobacco and cigar box, spice, nougat. Full-bodied, thick with fine tannin, fresh, savoury, intense, great line through the mouth, big finish, baking spices and sweet tannin. Settled acidity. Napa-like, in a sense. Red fruits and creamy cassis linger. Beauty." - Gary Walsh
"Subtle, layered, deep ruby. Tight and youthful and shows what Clive Otto can do." 17+ - Jancis Robinson, previewed in November 2017
"This is a first class Margaret River Chardonnay with a proven track record... 96 points" says James Halliday in his latest Australian Wine Companion.
It's an honour to be amongst the crème de la crème in both competitions.
The 2017 Parterre Chardonnay is available to buy online here.