The best value wineries of 2016

Once again, Western Australia is strongly represented among the 10 best value wineries this year. Any one of them could receive top billing, and they could stand up well against the best wineries in in the world – wineries that would have prices three to five times higher.

Larry Cherubino Wines
Western Australia

Larry Cherubino is never far from the top, his winery winning Winery of the Year in 2011. It’s not just his spectacular array of high-quality wines, but also their value for money: this year, 20 of 27 wines tasted received the value symbol, while 12 were rated between 95 points and 98 points.

Mandoon Estate
Swan Valley

This wonderful winery is the venture of semi-newcomer Allan Erceg, a successful real estate/shopping centre developer in Perth. From a tourist viewpoint, the cellar door winery is something quite special, with money no limitation for Erceg. Allan has bonded with winemaker Ryan Sudano, and all 11 wines tasted received the value symbol

with seven rated between 95 and 97 points. This is a business that has progressed at lightning speed since its establishment in 2009, its future limitless.

Best new wineries of 2016

Three of the 10 best new wineries – those debuting in the Wine Companion with a five-star rating, 95 points or above, and also a value for money rating – are from WA.

Domaine Naturaliste
Margaret River

Bruce Dukes has his own brand at long last, after having been one of the outstanding contract winemakers in Australia (certainly in the west) for such a long time. His career dates back over 25 years, its foundations built on a master’s degree in viticulture and agronomy from the University of California. Having made Margaret River wines for others, in 2012 he moved to finally set up Domaine Naturaliste, scoring 98 points with his cabernet sauvignon, backed up by four excellent chardonnays and a sauvignon blanc/semillon.

Apricus Hill

It seems a little unfair that James and Careena

Kellie, winemaker-owners of Harewood Estate, can acquire a 20-year-old vineyard, and create a new five-star winery. But they have picked the eyes out of the best blocks to make a small range of single vineyard, single varietal wines. Three of their wines scored 95 points, the fourth 94.

Margaret River

Without question the most interesting new winery, with prices for its six wines between $200 and $250. The wines are made at Woodlands by Will Berliner, under the watchful eye of Stuart Watson. The high-class packaging of the 450 dozen biodynamic chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and malbec garnered three wines with 96 points, another with 95.

Dark-horse winery

Greedy Sheep

Margaret River

When Bridget Allen purchased the vineyard in 2004, it had been planted to cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and malbec in 1999. It pays to have a sense of humour, for in January 2005, 1000 sheep found their way into the vineyard, eating everything green within their reach, including unripe grapes. All three Greedy Sheep wines received 95 points and value symbols.