Increasingly buyers of Australian wine will see it marketed by region of origin and not multi-regional blends.

And to date there are 61 Australian regions of which the Barossa Valley is most well-known.

But one region to emerge as producing a few per cent of Australia’s best and 15 per cent of super-premium wine is Margaret River.

That position could not be clearer after digesting the results of their 2009 show held last November.

I am astounded by the gold strike. Never before in any Australian regional show has there been such a cluster of gold medals in the wine classes that matter.

That is: chardonnay, cabernet and cabernet blends. Two hero styles recognised internationally.

The 2007-2008 chardonnay class gave up 7 gold, 6 silver, of which Lenton Brae Wilyabrup 2007 (AUD 45) triumphed with top gold and best white of show.

Hot on its heels were Brookland Valley 2008, vasse Felix Heytesbury 2007, Stella Bella 2008, Devil’s Lair 2007, Brettenay Reserve 2008 and Cape Mentelle 2008.

Add to these the four big guns who do not exhibit a Margaret River chardonnay-Leeuwin, Pierro, Cullen (Vanya was a judge) and Moss Wood.

Their recent scores in Jeremy Oliver’s Australian Wine Annual were 93 (2006), 95 (2007), 94 (2007) and 95 (2007) respectively.

Given that the judges included some modern palates: Ben Edwards and Philip Rich (Melbourne) and Tony Harper (Brisbane) it is clear that many of Australia’s best chardonnays come from this region.

And the 2007 and 2008 harvests, vintage conditions and eventual outturn are positively outstanding. Margaret River avoided most of the heat dumped on the Eastern states during this pair of stellar years.

The next boomer of a class was 2007-2008 cabernet sauvignon. The result gave 10 golds, 9 silver-what a thumper of a result; 6-2007 and 4-2008, with Rosabrook 2007 (AUD 25) taking the gong for top gold in the class.

Remember that Fraser Gallop 2007 took a recent trophy in the UK, and they backed up with gold for 2008 also.

Equally important is the cabernet blend class-essentially cabernet blended with merlot.

This class gave 4 golds (2-2007 and 2-2008), 7 silver with Voyager Girt be the Sea 2007 (AUD 24) topping the class for the trophy.

The most intriguing result, not a judging aberration is best cabernet of show-the only gold from the more mature 2005-2006 class, Evans and Tate The Reserve 2006 (AUD 35) took the trophy.

Without demeaning all associated this is an outstanding outcome when 2006 was a disaster vintage in this region, and this company has made such a great wine.

One endearing aspect of Margaret River cabernet is that the good ones age well, develop a terrific backbone of tannin and keep their aromatic herbal overtones over time-hallmark cabernet and rarely disappointing.

Check out the show results-you may never see so many golds at one show again!

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