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2014 Fraser Gallop Estate Cabernet Merlot

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Cracka Review

The Fraser Gallop brand has quickly established itself as one of the true boutique wineries in the Margaret River region. With ex-Vasse Felix winemaker Clive Otto at the helm, the quality has lifted immeasurably. This is the kind of red blend we love from the region; the Merlot softening the palate while the Cabernet lends structure and tannic backbone. This is a very perfumed wine, showing blackcurrant, earth, cedar and spice. The palate is poised and balanced with dusty red fruits and gravelly tannins while hints of olive lend a savoury edge. This would be superb with a lamb tagine or hard mature cheeses.

Winemaker's Notes

This Cabernet Merlot is a wine that has greater freshness from short barrel maturation and good concentration of flavour that comes naturally from dry grown Cabernet Sauvignon. The varieties work so well because structural tannins of Cabernet are tamed by the inherent mid-palate richness and softness of the Merlot grape.

Vintage: The Marri blossom during the autumn of 2014 was very good so there was almost minimal bird pressure, however we net every vine and so the grapes came into the winery in pristine condition with no disease pressure either. The first of the Chardonnay came in after the first week of February with very good acidity and low pHs. However the Chardonnay yields were quite low due to the poor flowering conditions (too much wind) in early spring. The opposite was the case with the Semillon and Cabernet grapes, by the time flowering occurred in the Semillon and red varieties the winds had somewhat abated and with good sub-soil moistures the yields on these varieties were the fullest we have seen.

Tasting notes: An attractive looking wine in the glass with bright crimson red hues with good density of colour. The glass is full of dark cherries, raspberries, and dusty pomegranate aromas and complemented with vanillin and spice oak. The palate has long and fleshy fruit flavours of dark cherries, and rhubarb with some savoury notes of pomegranate molasses. The nicely judged acidity brings the wine together with fine silky tannins to finish. Cellaring of this wine for up to 5 years will see this wine improve complexity with time.

Composition: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot

Alc/vol: 14.0%

expert reviews about

2014 Fraser Gallop Estate Cabernet Merlot

Expert Reviews

Gary Walsh (2014 Vintage) says
Turning out serious Cabernet for a modest price is a noble pursuit. It seems, at least to this observer, that FGE are working year on year at building better tannin structure in their red wines. Red and black fruits, cigar box and chocolate, floral and regional leafy perfume. Medium bodied, chocolate meets black and redcurrant, spot on acidity and a mesh of chamois-like tannin gives it a beautiful ‘mineral’ feel. Finish is fresh, well-fruited and savoury all at once. Really delivers.
2016 - 2024+
93
James Halliday (2014 Vintage) says
Good crimson hue; cassis, redcurrant, bay leaf and powdery tannins are the markers for the medium-bodied palate; oak and civilised tannins add their help.
Drink by 2030
92
Angus Hughson (2011 Vintage) says
Amazing that wines of this quality can be available for under twenty dollars.

Mulberry, cherry, chocolate and vanilla with a gentle perfume of bay leaf. Ripe and fleshy with milk chocolate coated berries, round grainy tannin and lovely balance throughout. It’s not exactly a wine for hedonists, but does deliver so much pleasure you can almost hear it purring. Nice.
2012 - 2017
92
Nick Stock (2011 Vintage) says
A bright, youthful and vivacious red blend that offers plenty of fresh cherry and cassis fruit, some leafy notes, a little cedary French oak in the mix and a lithe, fine tannin thread of structure. Holds good shape, really accessible, and has a gently and satisfyingly gravelly resolve to finish. This is sensational value from Margaret River.
Now
Good Wine Guide
92
Campbell Mattinson (2010 Vintage) says
Winemaker Clive Otto sure has made a mark at Fraser Gallop Estate. The value/quality ratio here is high. It comes across as mulberried at first but it quickly firms and fills out into a curranty, pencilly, gravelly burst of smooth, dark red wine. It’s hard not to feel happy about drinking this one. It comes with a hit of drying tannin and decent length and if you like this kind of thing then I’d think that $22 makes it a pretty simple buying decision.
The Wine Front 2011
92
James Halliday (2010 Vintage) says
Bright purple-crimson; a fragrant bouquet and welcoming palate of cassis, blackcurrant and mulberry provide the pleasure of today, those slightly gravelly Margaret River tannins the insurance for tomorrow.
2018
Australian Wine Companion 2012
92
Ray Jordan (2010 Vintage) says
Lovely scents of mint and red berry with a trace of cedar. The palate is medium to full bodied and with ample fruit density and concentration. There's an elegance and refined quality that sets this above most standard cab merlot blends. The tight inner core ensures it will cellar very well.
The West Australian Wine Guide
92
Tyson Stelzer (2010 Vintage) says
This wine is no morning person and it's far too early to awaken it, so let it slumber for at least five years before arousing its vibrant, crunchy redcurrant fruits and supportive dark choc oak.
Wine100
92
Nick Stock (2010 Vintage) says
This is an unbelievable bargain, really delivering well above the odds and showing much of the class of the flagship wines of the region at a fraction of the price. It has a bright cassis and mulberry nose, with leafy nuances, sweet darker herbal notes, juniper, gravel and cedary oak all in the mix. The palate's bright and elegant, with juicy tannins carrying cassis and plum flavours; gently gripping with savoury, ripe, nutty tannins through the finish.
2013
The Good Wine Guide
92
James Halliday (2009 Vintage) says
Fresh red-purple; bred in the purple, too; enters the mouth quietly enough, but then builds rapidly through the mid-palate and finish, the tannins adding dimension to the blackcurrant and cassis fruit; demands time.
Australian Wine Companion 2012 2011
94
Ray Jordan (2009 Vintage) says
Strong leafy minty tobacco like characters on the nose with a dusty cedary influence. The palate is fine and slightly angular with those sinewy tannins cutting through the fleshy Merlot. Well balanced and stylishly presented.
Ray Jordan's 2011 WA Wine Guide 2011
89
James Halliday (2008 Vintage) says
Excellent hue; an altogether superior wine, displaying both varietal and regional typicity; blackcurrant, cassis, black olive, quality oak and balanced savoury tannins all play their part.
Australian Wine Companion 2011 2010
94
Rob Geddes MW (2008 Vintage) says
Interesting and different, so much fruit, indecent levels of drink now cabernet-ness with deft tannins and a smorgasbord of berry flavours.
Australian Wine Vintages 2010 2009
90
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
Good depth and clarity to the colour; unsurprisingly driven by its almost succulent cabernet component (92%); seductive currant flavours framed by quality French oak and fine tannins. Bargain.
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
94

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