The Ferguson Valley is a lesser known gem of a wine region located near the Darling Scarp outside of Bunbury. St Aidan Wines is located in the lower regions among the fertile flats and Bunbury anaesthetist Dr Phil Smith and wife Mary purchased the property in 1991. The first plantings were of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon and these varieties became the backbone of the St Aidan’s wine portfolio. Later on, other varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Tempranillo were planted. Mark Messenger at Juniper Estate has been making the wines since 2001. St Aidan Wines is a great stop on your next trip south. The wines are well made and highlight the beautiful fruit from this region.
2014 St Aidan Sparkling Chardonnay (Cellar Door $28)
Sparkling chardonnay is certainly a boutique wine and the 2014 is a new release from St Aidan Wines is memorable. I like the crisp acid, fine bead and subtle pear and yeast flavours. A great start to any meal and one of my favourites of the collection.
2016 St Aidan Cassie Moscato (Cellar Door $21)
I believe Moscato is an under-rated wine and we all need to take ourselves a little less seriously. The 2016 Cassie Moscato is a bottle of fun with 9% alcohol. Lovely Muscat fruit aromas with strawberries and sherbet thrown in, a little sweetness adds to the fun. Well suited to long summer afternoons.
St Aidan Liqueur Muscat (Cellar Door $35)
Continuing the Muscat theme I really enjoy a liqueur Muscat after dinner. The Zena Liqueur Muscat is 18% alcohol, complex and perfect with some cheese post meal.
2016 St Aidan Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (Cellar Door $20)
There is a wonderful freshness about this wine that leaps out of the glass with pineapple, passionfruit and pear aromas. It’s very drinkable with an acid backbone and plenty of tropical fruits. This is ready for immediate drinking and very good value.
2015 St Aidan Chardonnay (Cellar Door $30)
Although still young in Chardonnay terms, the 2015 St Aidan Chardonnay packs a punch. Brilliant fruit style with fresh pear and nectarines, very soft oak and a great long palate. It’s an easy drinking style with plenty of class. The 2012 St Aidan Chardonnay I found to be slightly more oaked but still a complex wine with new oak characters, a solid fruit spine and persistence. My preference is the 2015 and there is great potential.
2014 St Aidan Cabernet Sauvignon (Cellar Door $32)
Cabernet Sauvignon has been an excellent variety for St Aidan Wines and this vintage is a well-balanced fruit-driven wine with 97% Cabernet and 3% Malbec. It has subtle aromas of dark plums and oak with a medium-bodied palate of berry fruit and soft, fine tannins. It has plenty of cellaring potential and is a very well-made Cabernet. The 2015 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and one of the big medal winners for the winery. It has very different aromas with a slightly perfumed nose of violets and vanilla oak. A complex wine and a generous palate of well-integrated fruit and tannins. This is a wine that will still be fantastic in five years’ time.
Which St Aidan wine has aromas of pineapple, passionfruit and pear leaping out of the glass?
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