Just a few minutes downstream from Vasse Felix, on the banks of the Wilyabrup Brook, lies Fermoy Estate, with its distinctive gabled winery, nestled in amongst mature native trees.
Winemaker Jeremy Hodgson emphasises the importance of a maritime climate to produce great Cabernet.
“Our original Cabernet vines, planted in 1985, are well ventilated by cooling ocean breezes during the growing season, meaning the vine and fruit never gets too hot, nor too humid. All these factors – vine age, clone, soil, aspect, proximity to ocean – combine to ensure we have access to a special parcel of fruit each year that speaks of its place and the season.”
Jeremy picks up on Virginia’s point about the changing style of Margaret River Cabernet “I think with most wines, punters are looking for more elegance. That is, delicate fruit characters, subtle oak influence, moderate alcohol. The balance as a winemaker is always with your picking decisions – to ensure you get that balance (between fruit tannin ripeness, freshness of fruit and potential alcohol) absolutely bang on!
When asked for food and wine matches for Cabernet? “Anything cooked over coals!” he smiles. “Whether it be a slow-cooked shoulder of lamb, char grilled rib-eye of beef or field mushrooms in butter & garlic. Also think hard cheeses – cheddar, Manchego.”