97+ - 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is a serious step up from Floris, as you would expect. I will be truthful and declare that all three bottles (since arriving in the UK last week) have been significantly more enjoyable than our sample bottle pre-Christmas 2020 (I will add that we purchased 360 bottles from our first sample!) At first, the bouquet provides a nostalgic twist of popcorn which dissipates with a little aeration. We move onto a nutty savouriness - toasty, a touch tropical (more caramelised). Savoury transitions to Yuzu and sea spray which in turn moves onto a delicate floral character. I detect a little bitter orange peel on the finish – I could be wrong? The flavours are built around perfect structure with everything being aligned and unforced. The fruit sides with citrus – lemon, Yuzu and lime with delicate oak spices providing a point of difference. The palate feel is luxurious, ripe but far from being overripe. There’s an honest purity to the feel and flavours. Citrus clean acidity and minerally fruit. Ambitious, but keeping one hand on the Margaret River style. That said, I am pleased to see a move away from some of the more ‘slender’ examples. Wonderfully bright, balanced and dances on the palate with mouth-watering acidity and a dusting of spices… Extremely long and will provide ten years of cellaring. This will be fascinating in five (note to keep a few cases back). Decant for 20-30 minutes. Do not overchill. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
93+ - 94 Points - Stuart McCloskey “At this youthful stage, more Sauvignon on the nose than Sémillon. Intensely aromatic with stone fruits, grapefruit and blackcurrant leaf. Herbal, floral and ripe… There’s a synergy between the bouquet and the palate which is equally vibrant and ‘alive’ – some gooseberry and elderflower. Lovely weight (which is often lacking at this level) and the soft textural feel will appeal to many. I love the fresh minty finish, I detect Florence fennel too (eaten raw – you’ll see what I am referring too). Appetising and delicious now, not really a wine to put in the cellar, but a few years will do it no harm.”
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The aromatics are a delight and dance a wonderful tune of maya lemon, homemade lemonade, jasmine in all its perfumed glory, more white flowers and the maritime climate speaks in volumes. Silky texture with flavours comparable to the bouquet; lemon juice and zest melded with stony minerality. Yuzu too but spiced – super racy. I thoroughly enjoy the pretty floral character which softens the wine slightly. Extremely satisfying, moreish and approachable now, but does offer the ‘keeper’ a further 5+ years of cellarage ahead of it. In fact, a few years in the cellar will bring this wine on… Full of energy, lots of tension and the finish is long and zesty. Wonderful intensity for a wine of this price. To summarise, a very classy offering from team Domaine Naturaliste… Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A lovely, super-pure Margaret River bouquet revealing sweet blackcurrant, lavender, violets, a beautiful floral lift which works a treat with the herbal undertones and touches of iodine. For me, this wine is all about ‘texture’ which is wonderful, but let’s start from the beginning. ‘The Ace’ is their flagship creation blended from two clones, one an isolate of the Houghton’s clone and one a descendent from Margaux in Bordeaux (70% Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 5, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337). There is a captivating symmetry and precision which I find irresistible. The fruit exudes an almost exotic quality but is entirely unforced. I love the touch of graphite on the finish. The wine flows effortlessly supported by velvet tannins (just a touch of dusty grip which creeps in). Satin-like in texture with an opulence and luxuriousness which are kept on a tight leash. It fans out perfectly on the finish. This is a deeply impressive wine and one which would benefit from 10-15 years in a cellar however, this delivers so much pleasure today. An amazing wine regardless of whether you decide to drink today or store… Decanted for five hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Adorable and sampled without decanting. The bouquet is veracious and provides layers of creamy raspberry, dark plum and mulberry compote. Warming spices (white pepper) develop with more aeration and a touch of toasty French oak and cedar. The palate is vivid, fun and provides a Smörgåsbord of red and black fruits with a soupçon of dried mint. I appreciate the cooling feel / acidity. Dark chocolate / cocoa interplay with a little tart cranberry. Flavours build and change the more you taste (at the five minute mark, I pick up woodsmoke). This is a wine full of honest, good intentions which is admirable. Serve now or cellar to 2028. Decant for 2-3 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
97 – 97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “I love the beetroot black colour – it’s so appealing I want to don my swimming trunks and jump in. This is unlike any young Malbec I have sampled and certainly one of the finest Aussie examples I have ever tasted. The nose is wonderfully brooding with pen ink, charcoal, iron ore, cold steel and dark, fruity chocolate. If I dare say, I draw similarities to Standish wines, albeit in a cool climate vein (I support this by the depth, complexity and similar aromatics). The palate is beautifully textured, which is a clear hallmark. The tannins are plush, velvety and the acidity fine. There’s plenty to appreciate and respect. The black fruits are graphite tinged and remain forever on the palate – I detect a little verve from blood orange. This is truly outstanding – it genuinely is. Decanted for 5 hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now and / or cellar for 10+ years”.
96++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Another wine which I sampled over two days with day two showing a blossoming beauty. Unmistakably from the Margaret River with screaming aromatics of blackcurrant, leather, black olive, cedar, mint, dark chocolate. The palate is ripe and packed with flavour. As you would expect, it lacks some of the depth of Ace of Spades, but it is a stellar effort nonetheless, and one which richly deserves to be enjoyed by us all. There’s a lovely freshness which underlines the wine’s character. Tannins are svelte with the merest smidgeon of dust / dried herb, which adds character. Wait a few minutes and a tang from orange peel emerges along with savoury, earthy notes. Lots of bright acidity which lifts the wine. A belter and one that can be enjoyed now through to 2028. Decant for 2-3 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
98 Points, Stuart McCloskey - tasting note coming soon.
96 Points - Nick Stock (James Suckling.com) "This has a slightly reductive edge to the nose with sliced-lemon, grilled-almond and peach character. Really fresh and pristine. The palate has a very impressive, concentrated feel with nectarines, peaches and citrus fruit. So pure and long. Drink now. Screw cap."
The Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon is a unique expression of the Margaret River wine region – one of the best Cabernet producing areas in the world. The fruit was sourced from mature vineyards in the Yallingup and Wilyabrup sub-regions of Margaret River and is crafted to be an expressive, yet drinkable, style of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winemaker’s notes: “Deep crimson with vivid purple hues. This wine exhibits aromas of cassis and dried herbs with hints of spice. The palate displays flavours of summer plums and dark berries with notes of sweet spice and dark chocolate from the use of both new and seasoned French oak. It is medium-bodied with fine, elegant tannin and persistent length. A true representation of Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon."
95 Points - James Halliday
Primarily from the southern Margaret River Rowe Road Vineyard, whole-bunch pressed and fermented and aged in French barriques, 20% new. Dials things up a notch from the Estate chardonnay, with an extra degree of richness in the fruit and slightly more oak impact. Outstanding depth and length of flavour with a lingering aftertaste.
The Hillside Chardonnay focuses on a some of the coolest sites in the Margaret River region so as to produce wines with great varietal character, while maintaining excellent vibrancy and freshness of acidity. Fermented in a combination of seasoned and new oak barrels, using only indigenous yeasts with no fining or acid additions, this is a wine that showcases Deep Woods’ dedication to site selection and this great variety.