01 September 2009

Voyager Estate 2007 Girt by Sea Margaret River Cabernet Merlot

This wine has been a popular option for me since visiting the winery a few years back. I was treated to a generous number of liberal pours at the cellar door, and then kept it going over lunch with the mixed flight of wines and accompanying tasting plate. We ate blue swimmer crab, venison chorizo and duck, while the glasses were continually winged in at a brisk pace by the best hot tottie the Wild West had to offer.

They can afford to be generous I suppose. The winery is one of the most opulent in the country, and is built from the same source of cash that has funded Rose Hancock's bizarre lifestyle over the years. The owner, Michael Wright, is the son of Lang Hancock's business partner. But whereas young Rose squandered her inheritance on pink Rollers and poodles, the Wright heir toiled away with heart and hand to build Voyager Estate. Thanks to the mountain of mining money, and a healthy dose of eccentricity, he has created one of the standout cellar doors in the Margaret River region.

They produce a sizable range of consistently high quality drops at decent prices, and their flagships are the usual Margy suspects - a Chardonnay ($42), and a stellar Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot ($60).

But they also make a Cab Merlot for the everyman, known, patriotically, as the Girt by Sea. $24 a bottle is the list price, but I have seen it as cheap as $17. And, at that price, there is good reason to let us all rejoice.

The '07 Girt by Sea is the colour of a Tuscan terracotta, and it is probably just a little less full-bodied than in previous years. More Kate Moss than Elle Macpherson, although that is obviously not such a bad thing as far as it goes.

It has the soft, spicy aroma of a freshly split vanilla pod, and delivers plummy, fruity goodness with every swallow. It is smooth R'n'B drinking - but, much like a date with Chris Brown, it can still get a little punchy if provoked.

All in all, its beauty is as rich and rare as a footballer with morals. And while we may well have boundless plains to share with Johnny Foreigner (it's from the second verse, stick with me), I'm keen to guard this gem a little more closely.

It is an early drinker, so get stuck in while its young and free.

Rating: 8.5/10
Drink with: a good pizza
Price: $24
Image from: http://www.voyagerestate.com.au/

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