It’s time for the annual release of Deep Woods Reserve wines, and this year has lived up to the hype! One of the most beguiling things about the team at Deep Woods is their capacity to delivery not only ridiculous value across their full suite of wines, but also to deliver world class quality too.
The Reserve releases aspire to not only be the best in the West, or even the best in Australia for that matter, rather the team strive to be making the best wines in the world. Lofty ambitions perhaps, but it’s difficult to argue with that vision when you see what the team put into bottle each year.
With a focus on structure & shape, and framing the fruit in the best way possible, chief winemaker Julian Langworthy, coaxes out wines of flavour & intensity that are balanced but with bags of style and drinkability. Let the vineyards do the talking as they say!
With last year’s reserve Chardonnay, James Suckling commented that is has “the power and the intensity of a top Grand Cru Burgundy” and the Cabernet winning ‘Best Cabernet in Show’ at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards – we know know the bar has been set pretty high, and this latest of Deep Woods release is well worth the hype.
2022 Deep Woods Estate Reserve Chardonnay RRP $85
The quality of the 2022 vintage meant that very little fruit got downgraded from the Reserve level. The quantity in this low-yielding vintage was healthy (1,000 dozen with new vineyard resources online). I maintain that this cuvée is released too early (November the year following harvest) to show its pedigree and potential, of which it is abundantly endowed. So, this 2022 Reserve Chardonnay leads with almond meal, toasted peach, apple skins and preserved citrus. There are hints of sandalwood, clove, cut fennel and star anise. The fruit in the mouth plumes around the skeleton of phenolics that shape the flavor through the finish. It is textural and complex, detailed and fleshy. This is very good! Will be better! 95 points. Erin Larkin, Robert Parker Wine Advocate 2023
2022 Deep Woods Estate Reserve Shiraz RRP $85
The fruit for this wine is from the Septumus vineyard (old-vine Shiraz that was previously owned by Sandalford). 2020 was the first time that Deep Woods used this fruit resource for this wine. Larger format oak and 35% whole bunches in the ferment has wrought a wine of supple complexity and spice. The 2022 Reserve Shiraz is supple and exciting, highly aromatic and complex. In the mouth, there is salted red licorice, raspberry, red snakes, star anise and a hint of Campari/orange peel character. It matured for nine months in oak puncheons (500 liter). Bright! Exciting! The future for Margaret River Shiraz is bright, yet undetermined; the winemaking styles and site/clonal exploration is ongoing, with no fixed stylistic template as yet. Viticulture and vintage conditions also play a major role in the success of this variety in the region. We as drinkers, we wait! 95 points. Erin Larkin, Robert Parker Wine Advocate 2023
2021 Deep Woods Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $95
2021 was a really challenging season for grape growing in Margaret River, in large part due to two cyclone weather events that pushed precipitation down the west coast of Australia. With significant rainfall in February and March, viticulturists were put under major strain in terms of managing the effects of rain in the vineyards. The 2021 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is light-framed and pretty, loaded with violets and raspberries, the tannins defined by a raw cocoa edge. This is an earlier-drinking proposition than many of the wines in the lineup. It is actually a remarkable wine in the context of the season. Pretty! This is charming and lighter than its older siblings—the oak regime was tailored to suit the year. 94+ points. Erin Larkin, Robert Parker Wine Advocate 2023