- Christina Pickard
Goldilocks and the Three Winemakers (Chapter 2)
Having commenced her adventure in the magical land of Wilyabrup, Western Australia by visiting Vanya Cullen, the Momma Bear of the Margaret River, Goldilocks was off to visit the Papa Bear of the region, Nigel Gallop, the Vigneron of Fraser Gallop–a more masculine-feeling winery, producing much more masculine wines.
Kate and Nigel
Nigel, bronzed and polo-shirted, rocked up to the cellar in a golf cart carrying himself and his two standard poodles. He was accompanied by assistant winemaker Kate Morgan, who seemed at odds with the all the testosterone seeping out of the winery’s walls. Kate led Goldilocks and her hubby through a tasting of Fraser Gallop’s wines.
Goldilocks thought the 2010 Semillon was fresh, vegetal, and citrusy with a creamy, silky mouthfeel. The 2009 Chardonnay had notes of pineapples and pears, with a refreshing acidity and thankfully no malolactic fermentation to give it that milky texture. The 2009 Cabernet/Merlot was a big wine bursting with mint, tobacco, cedar, and juicy fruit. And the 2008 Cabernet was more restrained–a smokey, savoury, spicy number that reminded this fairytale character of a man in expensive shoes.
Yes, Fraser Gallop’s wines were manly, like a perfectly tailored suit–elegant and well made and screaming, ‘I am a premium product!’. Which is not a bad thing. Decanter seemed to think it was a very good thing, awarding Fraser Gallop’s 2007 Cabernet one of the best in the world. Nigel was keen to point out that Cullen and Woody Nook both took the same award that year for their Chardonnay and Cabernet respectively and all three wineries are just down the road from one another, in the golden triangle that is Wilyabrup. Now your pal Goldilocks is not one to pay much attention to awards, especially when it comes to wine, since she knows first hand how ridiculous the whole process can be, but it seemed that Nigel did have a point–Wilyabrup’s microclimate obviously suits winegrowing just right.
Fraser Gallop makes sophisticated, ’boutique’ wines. In other words a small amount of high quality wines usually aimed towards an affluent market. Goldilocks didn’t think they had the pizzazz of some of the top boutique wines she’s tried (and perhaps that’s because, in an escape from porridge, she’s been drinking so many natural, biodynamic, organic wines which are inherently so alive in the glass). But she still thought they were very well made and well balanced, and she would happily crack open a bottle or two to share with the bears any day.
You can find Fraser Gallop’s wines in the UK at several retailers around the countries. For a full list, go to Wine Searcher.
In the next chapter, Goldilocks meets the Baby Bear of the Margaret River–a youthful, innovative winemaker making delicious Biodynamic wines. But now it’s time for bed children. You’ll have to wait patiently for the final chapter.
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