Emma Farrelly spends a lot of her day thinking about wine. As beverage director for the State Buildings, it’s her job to ensure guests are never too far from something delicious to drink, whether they’re browsing the shelves at Petition Wine Bar or pushing the boat out with dinner at rooftop fine diner, Wildflower. As far as someone to recommend good things to drink, she’s a good person to have on speed dial. Like many, she’s excited about the current wine drinking climate.
“The WA wine scene is in a really interesting place at the moment,” she says. “For a while there, WA wine was always very good quality but perhaps a little predictable. The classics will always be classics, but it’s nice to see producers doing some really interesting things in terms of viticulture and winemaking techniques.”
The experienced sommelier and wine judge shares her picks for five West Australian wines to try this summer.
Lowboi Riesling 2017 (Great Southern)
This is brand new and released just in time in time for riesling season. Guy Lyons, Forest Hill winemaker by day, is doing his own thing under the Lowboi label. It’s racy, textured and has so much fruit concentration. Take it to an island and be happy.
Si Vintners Table Red 2017 (Margaret River)
A 50-50 blend of malbec and merlot that is unoaked, incredibly juicy and vibrant. I’m drinking this slightly chilled after work. Usually with some sort of tacky snack item like bhuja mix. It totally works.
Dormilona Rosado 2017 (Margaret River)
I swear this gets better every year. Jo is on point with this rose – so much texture and complexity, but bone dry and super juicy. It tastes even better out of magnum.
Castelli Estate Il Liris Chardonnay 2015 (Great Southern)
Seriously serious chardonnay. Plenty of integrated oak, gentle brioche and cashew nuances with a lick of grapefruit and bright acidity. Length and concentration is crazy good. I know we talk a lot about Margaret River chardonnay but this wine is up there with some of the greats.
Domaine Naturaliste Rachus Syrah 2015 (Margaret River)
A wine that demonstrates how far shiraz (syrah) has come in Margaret River in the past five years. Winemaker Bruce Dukes’ handprint is all over this: pure, vibrant and fruit-driven with layers of complexity and a sense of elegance and intrigue. It’s very much in the Rhone Valley style and delicious.