Bruce Jukes began his professional career after studying agricultural science at UWA. The knowledge gained enabled him to properly appreciate and understand the concept of sustainable farming where emphasis is placed upon minimal intervention and encouraging a natural biosphere as much as possible.

The practice of soil rejuvenation through natural composting and encouraging a natural carpet of grasses between the vines are good examples of this. Grape musts are allowed to ferment spontaneously with local wild yeasts. After working in California for five years at Coppola winery and then with Dr Michael Peterkin at Pierro, Bruce established his Domaine Naturaliste in Wilyabrup, the central sub-district of the Margaret River appellation.

The soils here are typically gravelly loam, the natural habitat of Western Australian jarrah. Perfectly suited to producing quality grapes, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay being the outstanding examples.

The winemaking is careful and nurturing. Flavour and texture matter.

The wines

2020 Sauvignon Blanc “Sauvage” (13%, rrp $30)

Fragrant floral fruity citrus. Very appealing. Sourced from the cooler southern part of Margaret River. This has a bright, soft textural feel in the mouth with a lovely crisp and balanced finish. An outstanding wine.

2020 Artus Chardonnay (13.5%, rrp $49)

Domaine Naturaliste’s flagship white, this is also made from southern Margaret River fruit. Naturally fermented and raised in oak, 45% of casks brand new. Attractive toasty peachy aromas (“Funky oak and butterscotch” according to the winemaker). Full of flavour but with a light footprint. Lovely balance and a deliciously long finish.

2017 Rebus Cabernet Sauvignon (13.8%, rrp $35)

Very pure Cabernet aromas of red fruits, dark chocolate and black olive. Oak very much in the background. Fruitiness predominates, balanced by ample tannins that soften with airing the wine. Will easily improve over the next few years. 

2017 Morus Cabernet Sauvignon (14%, rrp $89)

Domaine Naturaliste’s flagship red. Matured 14 months in 55% new barrels. The term morus comes from Morus Australis, the botanical name for the mulberry and, yes, there are definite mulberry aromas present. So, too, are there blueberries, violets and spice. A generous and lush suppleness with ample soft tannins makes for a very fine example of what Margaret River Cabernet can achieve. Delicious.


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