Winery of the Month - West Cape Howe

Old Bridge Cellars Winery of the Month

West Cape Howe

Just awarded ‘Australia’s Best Value Winery’ in James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2016

We recently had the pleasure of tasting the recent releases of the West Cape Howe wines and were so impressed that we have selected this winery as our Winery of the Month. The wines certainly lived up to the ecstatic reviews they have been receiving and their outstanding performance in the highly competitive Australian wine show circuit.

Obviously James Halliday agrees with me, as he just announced West Cape Howe as ‘Australia’s Best Value Winery’ in his latest Halliday Wine Companion that came out late last week.

The wines are made predominantly from grapes grown at West Cape Howe’s vineyards in Mount Barker and Frankland River, but, where appropriate, fruit is also carefully sourced from other areas.  Senior Winemaker Gavin Berry and Viticultural Manager Rob Quenby, and their talented colleagues, can be justifiably proud of their achievements and congratulated for enhancing the reputation of the Great Southern as one of the great wine regions of Australia.

We were delighted to find a Tempranillo that showed that the great red variety of Rioja, Spain’s leading wine region, has a real future in Western Australia and the Book Ends Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrates perfectly that the cool Great Southern wine region can produce outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, especially in years, such as 2012, when conditions are particularly favourable for the development of the main grape variety of Bordeaux. The 2013 Two Steps Shiraz is the second of a formidable duo of the winery’s premium portfolio and the 2013 Cabernet Merlot represents extraordinary value for a wine of its quality. Finally, but by no means least, we greatly enjoyed the carefully constructed 2014 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and delicious cool climate 2014 Styx Gully Chardonnay.

We can think of no other winery in Western Australia that produces such a wide range of high quality wines at such a very reasonable price. Great quality, great value!     


West Cape Howe Tempranillo 2014                         $21.95

This wine confirms that Tempranillo has found a second home in Western Australia when it is in the skilled wine making hands of West Cape Howe. This conclusion is borne out by its receipt of Trophies at both the National Wine Show of Australia and the Perth Royal Wine Show.

The fruit for this Tempranillo came from West Cape Howe’s vineyards in Frankland River and from the Perth Hills, with the parcel from each region being kept separate during fermentation.  The wine was matured for ten months in French oak, which has ensured that its varietal characteristics were retained. Careful blending of the wine after maturation enabled the best qualities of both regions to be expressed in the final product.

The bouquet of the 2014 West Cape Howe Tempranillo has an attractive combination of lifted berry fruits, dark cherries and aromatic savoury characters. The palate is filled with sweet berry flavours, hints of dark chocolate and olives. A very well balanced wine with soft tannins and a long fruit driven finish. 

Gavin Berry understandably particularly likes this wine and the results achieved by combining the savoury qualities of the fruit from Frankland River with the much plumper and fuller fruit from the Perth Hills. This wine will provide delicious drinking over the next three to five years.


West Cape Howe Mount Barker Riesling 2014                    $19.95

Crisp, fresh styles of Riesling have always been a very popular variety here at Old Bridge Cellars, with people coming from far and wide for our range of over 50 wines, and this 2014 from West Cape Howe stands up to the best of them. The fruit is sourced from block 6 of the Langton vineyard in Mount Barker, picked over several weeks to retain crisp acidity and absolute freshness.  Varietal characters of citrus blossom on both the nose and palate, with the acidity a steel wire running all the way through to the endless finish.  


West Cape Howe Cabernet Merlot 2013                                $15.95

Gavin Berry has certainly achieved his aim of complementing the mixed berry fruit characters of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richer flavours of Merlot.  Maturation in good quality oak has allowed the wine to develop the savoury characteristics found in the best red wines

This wine has been described by James Halliday as having a bright crimson colour and a fragrant bouquet of blackcurrant and redcurrant fruit, which, in turn, leads on to a supple, medium-bodied palate, awash with delicious cassis tempered by some cedar from the French oak, together with fine-grained tannins.  Notwithstanding the low price, some seriously good fruit has been used to make this wine, drink to 2025. 94 points.


West Cape Howe Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2014            $15.95

This delicious wine has benefitted from having been made from fruit that was carefully selected from regions with different climates, namely the Great Southern, Pemberton and Margaret River. The resultant complexity and quality has been further enhanced by the careful selection of appropriate grape varieties. The wine thus comprised 58% Semillon, which has provided texture, and 42% Sauvignon Blanc, which gives the wine its crispness. Cool conditions during harvesting at night, together with early bottling, have ensured that this wine retained its freshness and varietal characteristics.

We are certain you will enjoy the attractive combination of fresh pea, cut grass and subtle citrus and lychee aromas and the vibrant combination of citrus and stone fruit favours on the palate, which has a long and clean acid finish. This wine is made for drinking over the next couple of years.   


Congratulations again to Gavin and the West Cape Howe team. Keep up the exceptional work.

Jay and the Old Bridge Team