"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
Fraser Gallop Estate Winery Tours
For years friends and family have long enjoyed our informal behind the scenes tours, and starting this weekend we'll offer winery tours every Saturday and Sunday morning throughout December and January.
Peter de Cuyper (cellar door, above left) will take the tour each Saturday and Sunday 10-11am. He'll show you where the fruit is processed, explain how it is made and take you through the barrel room where are wines ferment. He discusses the three Cabernet Sauvignon styles and the winemaker's inspiration.
The tour finishes with a wine tasting, including the newly released Palladian Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tickets cost $20 per person and are redeemable against any case purchase*. All Fraser Gallop Estate Wine Club members are invited to receive two tickets free of charge.
Bookings: email email@example.com or phone 08 9755 7553.
* Up to a maximum of $40 per case.
This competition has now closed. Congratulations to Keith from QLD who will join Sean on his Margaret River Discovery Tour.
Buy a case of wine during December for a chance to win a Margaret River Discovery Co tour for two people. "The tour for people who don't do tours" is the ultimate Margaret River experience - and it even includes lunch in the Fraser Gallop Estate barrel hall!
Valued at $418 the prize includes;
Terms and conditions:
Margaret River claimed more places in James Halliday's Top 100 Wines than any other region in Australia, such is the premium quality of our wine.
Our 2017 Parterre Semillon Sauvignon Blanc made the cut, scoring 96 points.
"It has precision, drive and elegance, with juicy minerality," said Halliday.
Other recent acclaim for the Parterre wines
Parterre Chardonnay 2017 "a first class Margaret River chardonnay with a proven track record." - James Halliday. Gold at the Halliday Chardonnay Challenge and Six Nations Wine Challenge
Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 "beautifully flavoured and intense in the mouth, poised and elegant" - Huon Hooke. Gold at the 2017 Margaret River Wine Show.
"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.
What a splendid day for the Open Garden Fundraiser, and thanks to everyone who attended.
Together we raised $1530 which helped Lily and Jessica attend the national equestrian championships in Melbourne. The girls are very grateful.
Thank you to Dorothy and her friends for the delicious sandwiches, sausage rolls and raspberry friands.
Special thanks to Chris Spiker, a guest who took these delightful photos. Chris is also a talented artist who creates the most exquisite paintings of birds. He exhibits at Boranup Gallery and we recommend visiting his studio at Margaret River Region Open Studios next year!
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. (Screwcap)
Score: 94 ★★★★ – view Huon’s original tasting
Read the full review, food pairing and more of Huon Hooke's reviews
Victoria Moore attended a series of wine tastings in November 2017 to celebrate the Margaret River wine region's 50th anniversary. The 32nd annual Cullen International Chardonnay Tasting was hosted by Vanya Cullen who had selected 22 chardonnays from Australia, France and the US.
Below is an extract from Victoria Moore's column in The Daily Telegraph, July 2018. Read the full article.
"Every so often, an online commenter asks why anyone would be interested in chardonnay when sauvignon blanc (and other grapes) have all the verve and freshness you could ever want (especially, you might think, in this heatwave). This week’s column begins with a riposte to that from Cliff Royle at Flametree in Margaret River (you need to turn on your internal Australian accent as you read in order to do it full justice).
“People tell me ‘I’m ABC’ – anything but chardonnay – and I say, ‘You know what, you need to do yourself a favour and get over that quite quickly because chardonnay is the greatest white wine grape in the world and, yes, I’ve had some nice rieslings, and some nice other whites, but the greatest white wines I’ve had have all been chardonnay. Yes, I understand you fell out of love with it because a lot of wines were over-oaky and clunky, but that’s not where we are now.’”
Wines of the Week
Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Chardonnay 2016 Margaret River, Australia (13.5%, winedirect.co.uk, £22.50)
An astonishingly good chardonnay, with great freshness, focus and clarity. It’s reminiscent of nectarines, lemon blossom, and lemon mousse, with a brush of roasted nuts. This estate makes superb cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon-sémillon as well.
What a thrill - Huon Hooke awarded our 2014 Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon 95 points, and described it as "beautifully flavoured and intense in the mouth, poised and elegant with tight, refined structure and good persistence."
This is the same vintage that won Gold at the Margaret River Wine Show in 2017, as did the 2013 and 2015 vintages. We eagerly await another stellar review in the Australian Wine Companion next month, and urge you to stock your cellar before it runs out.
Meanwhile, Hooke rated the 2017 Parterre Chardonnay 94 points, and said it was "top value for money".
Medium to deep red/purple colour, bright and fresh, while also describes the nose, which is very aromatic and has charming floral violet overtones over raspberry and mulberry-like fruit. Hints of vanilla, briar and cedar as well. The wine is beautifully flavoured and instense in the mouth, poised and elegant with tight, refined structure and good persistence. It's tightly coiled and compact, and promises to richly reward cellaring.
Light straw colour and a shy, faintly nutty savoury bouquet, which grew and grew as the wine aired. Complex cashew, almond, honey and butter nuances later. The palate is bright and enlivened by frisky acidity, which helps extend the finish. It's mouthwatering and tense, refreshing and invigorating. A lovely modern chardonnay, even better with fish or seafood. Top value for money.