Castelli Estate, located in Denmark on Mount Shadforth within WA’s Great Southern region, was purchased by the Castelli Family in 2004. The Castelli family was committed to sourcing only the best fruit, and Mark Garland was appointed as winemaker in order to introduce a philosophy of structure and balance to winemaking for cool climates. The result is a range of highly recommended wines.
2018 Castelli Riesling
This Riesling blend is made from grapes picked by Great Southern vineyards in March, during a nearly perfect season. The aromas are floral with lime and blossom. On the palate, you will find peach, sherbet, and a medium acidity. Young and vibrant, it is ready to enjoy now but will age well.
2017 Il Iris Blanc
This is a Chardonnay single vineyard from Denmark, picked in a difficult year for winemakers. The grapes were hand-picked and pressed into barrels, then allowed to ferment naturally. It is straw-colored with aromas of gunflint, melon, and new French oak. A medium-weight fruit and oak with a backbone of acidity. This wine will continue to improve as it ages.
2017 Pemberton Chardonnay
The 2017 Pemberton chardonnay was more appealing to me, with its Burgundian winemaking techniques and mix of wild and inoculated yeast. This is the cool climate of Chardonnay with its restrained, clean, and limey fruit. Elegant apricot flavors with minerality and soft oak. Medium-bodied and great for short-term storage.
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
Castelli Estate Reds took me on an extensive tour of the Great Southern and wine styles from Bordeaux through to Hermitage. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon was made from Frankland River fruit that had been cold-soaked for ten days to extract flavor and then fermented for one month on the skins. The result is a wine with a wide range of tastes, including blackberries, tobacco, and licorice, combined with fine tannins. This is a well-balanced wine that can be enjoyed now or stored for later.
Empirica by Castelli 2016 Uvaggio
This blend is made from bush vines grown in dry conditions. The parcels were fermented with whole bunches in open fermenters, then gently plunged into large oak barrels. Grenache produces a powerful palate with aromas and flavors of spices, berries, and smoky fruit. The tannins are soft, letting the fruit smoke on the palate. It took me finishing the bottle before I could appreciate how close it was to Rhone Valley perfectly.
2016 Frankland River Shiraz
The 2016 Frankland River Shiraz was the final bottle, and it didn’t disappoint. The wine has a deep purple color and a strong aroma of blackcurrant, spices, and berries. The palate is full-bodied, fruity, and balanced with soft tannins. The finesse and complexity of Syrah, but with bolder fruit characteristics. This is a young wine that will gain complexity as it ages.