Nigel Gallop purchased 67ha of Wilyabrup undulating farmland in 1998. The property is located in Metricup Road amongst established ‘royalty’ vineyards such as Moss Wood, Cullens, Woodlands and Pierro. He planted 7ha of Cabernet Sauvignon and 7ha of Chardonnay on an elevated, north-facing slope, which form the heart of the estate and are its raison d’etre.
No expense seems to have been spared in the pursuit of quality in both viticultural practices and in the making of the wine. Clive Otto heads the winemaking team. He joined in 2006 after an illustrious career at nearby Vasse Felix. In 2009 the first Cabernet that he produced (2007 vintage) won the Decanter Magazine World Wine Awards trophy for the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. This is a true boutique operation with all wines being expertly grown and vinified on the estate.
NOTE* Be sure to drink the reds at 18-20C. This may entail a small period in the fridge. At higher room temperatures the delicacy of the wine can be overpowered by the alcohol giving the impression of a wine out of balance.
Recommendation. Clearly the Parterre wines are finer than the estate wines but the latter show very well indeed and serve a different purpose. Forced to pick a favourite, for me the Parterre chardonnay gets the nod.
Fraser Gallop 2019 Estate Chardonnay (12.3% alcohol $26)
This spent only four months in stainless steel and old oak barrels after a wild yeast ferment. Deliberately fruity and crisp with just a lick of oak in the background, it makes for attractive immediate consumption. Its lively acidity and generous flavour will allow it to age for a couple of years if so desired.
Fraser Gallop 2018 Estate Cabernet Merlot (14% alcohol, $26)
A great vintage for Margaret River. Here there’s 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot with Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec making up the rest. With nine months maturation in old oak, it has very attractive rich aromas of berry with olive, tobacco and hints of dark chocolate. Supple and balanced with fine tannins and persistent finish. Drink now and for up to 10 years.
Hand-picked, low yielding Mendoza clone chardonnay. Whole bunch pressed and fermented in French oak barrels with naturally occurring wild yeasts, with 10 months in total. Lifted nose of restrained white peach with a fleeting but attractive whiff of struck match. Lively and complex with generosity of fruit yet delicacy of flavour. Lingers long on the palate. To quote the famous Jancis Robinson, who after tasting the Parterre Chardonnay, remarked that it is “worth comparing to a Burgundy Grand Cru”.
Fraser Gallop 2017 Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon (13.5% alcohol, $50)
Made unashamedly in the traditional Bordeaux classic style. 86.2% Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot 4.9%, Merlot 4.8%, Cabernet Franc 2.4%, Malbec 1.6%. It spent 18 months maturation in new and old French oak casks. Deeply coloured. Berries and cedar with a hint of violets. Full mouth filling with multiple layers, cassis, cedar and a hint of violets. Satisfying depth. Fruit acidity and tannins in a fine balance. A classy wine.
For more information, visit Fraser Gallop Estate’s website: https://www.frasergallopestate.com.au/