Three upwardly mobile Margaret River cabernets

New labels are muscling on to the list of quality Margaret River cabernet sauvignons.
New labels are muscling on to the list of quality Margaret River cabernet sauvignons. Photo: iStock

Cabernet lovers well know the top cabernet wineries of Margaret River – Moss Wood, Vasse Felix, Cullen, Cape Mentelle, Xanadu, Leeuwin Estate, and others. But every year there are more, eager to shoulder their way onto the list. Some are new; some (such as Fermoy Estate) are revitalised, and others (such as Brash) are established vineyards rebirthed with new names. Risky Business is a sideline of some of the owners of established WA wineries West Cape Howe and Hay Shed Hill. With that background, it's no surprise the wines are extremely keen value for money.

Brash Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Margaret River, $40

Score 94

This was voted best cabernet sauvignon at the 2018 Boutique Wine Awards. It's a very smart cabernet, typical of the region. Bright cassis and blueberry aromas with traces of herbs and mint. It's medium- to full-bodied with a core of sweet berries and ample soft tannins. Delicious. Screw-cap; 13.7 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to 2034.

Stockists brashvineyard.com.au

Risky Business Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Margaret River, $25

Score 92

This brand over-delivers across all varieties. This wine is intense and fine-boned, with bright varietal aromas of blackcurrant and cassis with crushed leaf high-notes. Blackberries and violets on the finish, with lovely balance and style. Top value. Screw-cap; 14 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to 2034.

Stockists include Bespoke Wine & Spirits, Thornbury (Vic); Amato's Liquor Mart, Leichhardt (NSW).

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Fermoy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Margaret River, $45

Score 91

Good depth of colour introduces a medium- to full-bodied cabernet with ripe cassis and fragrant herb aromas. It's clean and elegant, finishing with balanced tannin firmness. A classic cabernet that should age well. The 2015 Reserve ($95) is even better. Screw-cap; 14 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink now to 2031.

Stockists include Chambers Cellars (NSW); Black Rock Cellars (Vic).