The Gilbert family, since 1985, has quietly got on with the business of growing grapes, selling wine, feeding passers-by as well as raising three sons and maintaining a farm in Kendenup, just near Mt Barker. The three sons, commemorated by the labels 3 Devils and 3 Lads, have now left their respective professions and returned to the land which raised them, taking charge of the café and wine business. Their decision was hastened somewhat by the illness of their father, Jim Gilbert, who is in an advanced stage of motor neurone disease.
Along with wife and mother Bev Gilbert, the “lads” and Jim have bravely embraced this disease by publicly supporting the ice bucket challenge which raises awareness of MND. A local campaign, “Swim for Jim”, has raised $185,000 for MND research so far. Jim, himself, has been very positive in the face of his adversity.
“Look through the windscreen, not the rear vision mirror — that is my way of looking at it,” he told ABC Great Southern radio. He is chuffed about passing the average quoted survival time for MND cases and in particular is still able to enjoy his beloved estate wines.
The wines are expertly made under contract and are headed by the estate grown wines namely Riesling, hand-picked Chardonnay and Reserve Shiraz.
2016 Gilbert’s Riesling (RRP $24)
This is a classic Mt Barker riesling. Full of zesty citrus aromas and flavour – aromatic, crisp and dry with good depth of flavour. It is a proven performer in the national show system that will age 10 years if desired.
2015 Hand Picked Chardonnay (RRP $25) & 2016 3 Devils Chardonnay (RRP $18)
The 2016 is a fresh and fruity drink-now wine. It is softer and rounder than the Riesling with a little more flesh. Made with 100% stainless steel contact. The 2015 has more depth of flavour, as expected. Attractive hints of peach and a whiff of vanilla. This is a good cool climate chardonnay that finishes clean crisp with some complexity.
2015 Rose Dry (RRP $20)
This wine is true to the attractive label and is, thankfully, a dry Rose which is very appealing accompanying food. It is salmon pink in colour and a fragrant nose of strawberries with a touch of shiraz spiciness. The flavour is crisp, clean and fresh. A real delight.
2014 3 Lads Cabernet Sauvignon (RRP $25)
You can enjoy the intrigue of young Mt Barker cabernet here. This is medium bodied with abundant dark fruits and a softness that belies the fermentation and 12-month maturation in French oak casks.
2013 3 Devils Shiraz (RRP $18) & 2012 Reserve Shiraz (RRP $30)
Two lovely wines – one for early drinking , the latter for savouring now or cellaring for a few years.
The 3 Devils is partly tank-fermented and has a fruity spiciness typical of young shiraz. Soft and appealing it has balance and drinkability
The reserve shiraz is 100% barrel fermented and aged in French oak for 22 months (30% new). An attractive aroma of spice, pepper, leather and red fruits leading to a rich, full yet soft palate that lingers clean. A classic Australian shiraz, lovely now but can easily last 10 years.
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