I have just been back from Margaret River where we (hubby, kids, friends and me) spent a week relaxing, lying on the beach, rolling in the waves, exploring, climbing trees and... drinking wine. One of my highlight of this trip was to visit wineries after a relaxing day at the beach. We let the kids go wild while we were sipping some great wines and enjoyed some delicious food. My favorite winery was without doubt the Credaro Family Estate. We arrived there at sundown, discovered a beautiful vineyard lying on the slopes of the valley and started tasting some impressive wines in a Tuscan style cellar door overlooking the beautiful scenery. Pure bliss.
The Credaro family arrived in Margaret River in 1922 from Northern Italy and planted a few plots of vines for their own consumption (as one does when immigrating in a country where you cannot find decent wines ;-)). For four generations, they continued growing vines and in the 80's they started selling the grapes to neighborouing wineries. Ten years ago, they decided to create their own brand. Today, the family has three separate vineyards. They keep a quarter of the production for Credaro Family Estate while selling the rest to larger producers. In other words they keep the best for themselves and it shows. Here are my top five wines.
2013 Credaro Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon - 25 AUS$
I loved this Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend for its presence on the palate. Loaded with tropical fruits and a touch of apple, gooseberry and pear, it has an extra dimension thanks to the time it has spent in French new and old oak. The result is stunning, giving a light creaminess, nuttiness and fumé style to the wine. This combination gives a nice structure and presence on the palate with a perfect balance of acidity and complexity and a very good length.
2013 Beach Head Shiraz - 19 AUS$
An explosion of red and black fruits (black cherries and plum) accompanied by a perfect balance of fully integrated tannins and acidity. This wine made me think of a young Côte Rôtie (but with less spiciness). Perfect to drink now, it brings great instant pleasure thanks to the purity of its fruit, great texture (not overpowering at all), elegance and most of all stunning length. I wish I could have brough back a case of this one. At this price, it is a steal of a deal. No wonder it got so many awards over the past few years.
2012 Credaro Family Estate Cabernet-Merlot - 27 AUS$
A bordeaux blend typical of Margaret River, this Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (65%/25%) is oozing with fruits (blackberry and plum) and benefits from great texture, presence on the palate with a perfect balance of integrated tannins and acidity. What I loved about it is the length that stays forever on the palate and makes you reach the glass for another sip, and another...
2011 Credaro Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - 45 AUS$
The star of the estate. This wine is the pure expression of a grape variety that needs full ripeness to shine. Thanks to green harvesting, we have here concentration of fruits (blackcurrant) with the added layer of cacao, coffee and cedar. The balance between acidity, tannins and alcohol is perfect. Beautifully structured, the wine breathes elegance and purity. Again, the finish seems to never end. At least 10 years ageing potential. This is a keeper.
2013 Cane-Cut Semillon - 25 AUS $
This was the icing on the cake of the tasting. This sweet wine is neither late-harvest nor botrytis affected. The grapes are simply cut at harvest time and left hanging on the vine for a few months to let the water evaporate and the flavours concentrate in each berry. The result is stunning with freshness, concentration and purity of fruit flavours (apricot, almond). The sweetness is delicate and not overpowering. Perfect to drink on its own in a sunny afternoon.
We left Credaro happy and contented with a few bottles under our arms... and we might take the opportunity to order online for more as Credaro is not available in Hong Kong... yet.