On Saturday, 19 June, Parterre and Palladian Club members were transported to Tuscany for a solstice celebration.
Club members enjoyed a long lunch savouring fine Palladian and Parterre wines partnered with the delicious food of chef and pasta guru Paul Salmeri (ex River Café and now Sal's Pasta in Cottesloe) in the dining room of Gallop House. A fabulous time was had by all...
The five-course French-inspired degustation menu paired black truffles, hand-picked from Stonebarn trufflerie in Manjimup, matched with wines from Fraser Gallop Estate. Bistro’s renowned chef Guillaume Brahimi was stuck in Sydney because of the COVID-19 outbreak but sent a video message welcoming guests, and even interacted live via video link to a number of VIPs. The evening also acted as the relaunch of Camp Quality’s signature charity dining event series Supper Club, which raises funds to change the lives of children with cancer.
Fraser Gallop Estate’s chief winemaker Clive Otto has a strong connection to the coast. Clive had an unusual upbringing, having been born in Tanzania then raised in Dubai and later New Zealand. Unsurprising, he had the travel bug in older life and was drawn to Margaret River for the surfing breaks and underwater allure of sea life beneath...
Read all about it in margaretriver.com
The West Australian Play Magazine featured our Taste of the Vineyard experience in Rob Broadfield's popular Broadbrush column on Saturday 27th March. Read all about it here...
"Driving around the impeccable grounds of Fraser Gallop wines in the Margaret River in a golf cart is part of the experience of the celebrated winery's new wine tour events. We took a couple of hours off last week to take the tour which includes stops at various points on the grounds, and among the vines for guided tastings and discussions about Fraser Gallop Estate wines. It's a bucolic meander through the tastes and history of the vineyard and a lovely, leisurely way to spend a couple of hours, capped off with a charcuterie plate and more tastings at the end of the tour. It's a quintessential Margaret River experience. For the full story and pics, check out @broadbrush on Instagram. "
Don't forget to book in for your experience when you're planning your next trip down south...
Our Taste of the Vineyard experiences are attracting lots of attention. This week Urban List Perth has named it one of their top things to do in the Margaret River region. Read all about it below:
It’s time to grab your deso driver, pack some fancy clothes and book a trip down south ASAP, because Fraser Gallop Estate—one of Margaret River’s most private and awarded properties—has just introduced their exclusive and intimate new A Taste of the Vineyard tours.
Hop aboard the solar-powered Fraser Gallop Estate buggy with six fellow vino lovers—or six of your pals if you’re visiting as a group—and prepare to be taken on an immersive tour of the perfectly manicured gardens and immaculate vineyards, which are situated upon the highest point in Wilyabrup.
Of course, while you’re checking out the stunning scenery, you’ll also be treated to plenty of tastings. Your guide will point out the powerful influence the Wilyabrup terroir has on each delicious drop before taking you behind the scenes where you might encounter winemaker Clive Otto and his team before learning about how they make their wine.
There are only three A Taste of the Vineyard tours available each week, with one per day from 10.20am to 12pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and tickets are $95 each.
Keep the vino-loving adventures going at these top Margaret River wineries.
Following October’s announcement by Decanter awarding Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Chardonnay 2018 as Best in Show, the Wilyabrup producer has again been recognised for its excellence.
The 2020 Rosé has been named winner of the Chr. Hansen Trophy for best rosé at this year’s Langton's Margaret River Wine Show.
Vigneron Nigel Gallop said of the win “this award demonstrates once again the excellence of Fraser Gallop Estate wines across the range."
Now in its 19th year the Langton's Margaret River Wine Show show this year’s format was changed due to COVID-19 restrictions including an all Western Australian team of judges.
"It's always good to win an award," says winemaker Clive Otto, "but it's particularly good to be recognised by my peers in our own magnificent region's wine show."
Attracting more than 700 wines the show provides an opportunity for local winemakers and grape growers to receive appraisal from a panel of esteemed judges, to promote wine styles that excel in the region and to recognise excellence in the winery and in the vineyard.
This year's judges included Cliff Royle (Chair of Judges) of Flametree Wines, Emma Farrelly, sommelier at State Buildings and Erin Larkin, wine writer.
About the wine:
A Provençale-style rosé, pale salmon pink vibrant with a floral bouquet redolent of red fruits, white peach and redcurrant with flavours of ruby grapefruit. Bone dry, persistent, textural and luxurious. The clean cool mineral acidity finishes crisp and long."
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.”
Sometimes if feels hard to imagine that outside the Covid-19 world there are good news stories, that nature continues to work its magic, and work carries on in the fresh air of the vineyard. But it does, and our winemaking team are reporting this year's vintage will produce wines that "give Bordeaux a run for its money."
"In the fourteen years I've been making wine for Fraser Gallop Estate, I've only seen fruit of this quality once," says winemaker Clive Otto, "and that went into the 2007 Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon. And that won the Decanter World Wine Awards for best Bordeaux blend."
This year's vintage was completed on March 9, just five busy weeks. "In most years our harvest period spans eight weeks so this was a short and sweet vintage to say the least" says Clive.
"The quality of the wines is extraordinary across the range. The conditions in the lead up to the harvest led to a small vintage for sure be we are so happy with the quality of the fruit. A spring jail storm combined with strong winds caused considerable damage to the young canes followed by an early bud burst due to the warm dry winter. The hot dry summer resulted in considerably smaller than average berry size. Overall yields are down by a third however we can say quality on the other hand is UP by a third."
"The Chardonnays are sensational with vibrant acidities, immense intensity of citrus, white stone fruit and pear flavours and great balance. The Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends look great with more lemon -citrus notes and riper flavour profiles than we saw in 2019.
"The ultra-pale Rose is looking amazing like last year’s and eminently drinkable. Likewise, says Otto, the Ice Pressed Chardonnay is "right up there" with the best the Estate has produced.
"The Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends look incredible with the darkest most intense colours we’ve seen ever all thanks to the smallest berries we’ve seen. The tannin levels are high this year due to the thicker skins. The reds are looking fresh and vibrant as we didn’t allow the grapes to desiccate to raisins in the hotter than normal vintage and picked them earlier to retain freshness and the wines look better for it.
These will be incredibly long term cellaring wines that will give Bordeaux a run for its money."
The next few weeks will be spent plunging, pumping over, pressing and putting these wines to bed in high quality French Oak barriques for an 18 month maturation period in our cool barrel hall and the magnificence of these incredible 2020 Red wines will be then revealed to all.
John Lethlean, The Weekend Australian Magazine
March 21, 2020
By 6.30am the nets are off, the buckets are out and the lingua franca of the vineyard is softly spoken French, filtering through the trellised rows of vines like dappled sunlight. With a smattering of English, Spanish, Italian and German.
All over the district, on hundreds of vineyards large and small, the picking teams – travellers, mostly, from the northern hemisphere or Latin America – are out among the rows. The viticulturists are on hand making sure the fruit they’ve worked hard all year to nurture is handled properly. The vineyard hands buzz around in little banana buggies distributing empty buckets, collecting filled ones. In some cases, even the managing directors are driving the tractors that ferry the picked fruit back to the winery.
In the winery, harvest is an exciting, more-balls-in-the-air-thanusual time of year for winemakers. On top of everything else they must get that fruit into tanks, or pressed, now. There’s very little romance about forklifting palettes of cabernet sauvignon into a destemming machine, which in turn pumps whole berries off to cooled tanks for the slow process of fermentation to begin. It’s hard, urgent work. And it’s all happening at my back door. Within 10 minutes’ drive from home are probably 10 wineries; within 20, about 100. It’s a significant part of the local economy but you can wake up in a wine-growing region and not be aware of it. The estate agent next door takes his kids to school; the builder three doors down has already left for a job. But just out of town, on hundreds of properties that employ thousands of people – from crews of pickers to managing directors, with viticulturists and winemakers somewhere in between – it is the most important time of year.
Vintage. Eight weeks of the year, give or take, when super-important decisions are made about when to pick the various plots of fruit and get them into the winery, the vineyards come alive. At Fraser Gallop Estate, where my wife works, you can see the classic Australian wine business at work. It’s difficult to think of any other Australian agricultural model where something is grown, processed and valueadded on site, marketed and distributed, all on the one property.
The typical Australian wine brand, built around an estate, represents a cluster of diverse talents within usually, a fairly small business by most standards.
Vintage is the business cycle’s apotheosis, the money shot. For a lot of poor souls along the eastern seaboard, the summer bushfire crisis has wrought varying degrees of havoc on their fruit and/or vines. Margaret River hasn’t had the same issues, although yields are down and the vintage itself earlier than many in the industry remember.
By 11am, the cabernet picking is over. It’s harder than it looks if you want to make a few bucks. In the
winery, that fresh-picked fruit is the first priority, but it doesn’t mean constant technical evaluation of
previous days’ work stops. Or the plunging, the pumping, the liaison with clients (if your winery contracts
to others); the cleaning up; the readying of everything for tomorrow’s 6am start when the Frenchies return. There’s a methodical sense of purpose to it all. And winemaker Clive Otto is smiling. “The yield is down,” he says “but the fruit is brilliant. It’s a great time of year.”